THE victim of the daylight car wash shooting who was hospitalised with wounds to his abdomen was the target of a violent gang.
A press conference at GMP headquarters revealed that the shooting has been linked with a grenade attack in Salford and two other attacks in the city in the last fortnight and that the customer was the target in retaliation for the hand grenade attack earlier that day.
Detectives want to make it clear that they believe the victim, who was a visitor to the business, was deliberately targeted by the masked gunman and that the Express Hot Hand Car Wash on Bolton Road and its staff are completely innocent.
A 50-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in relation to the car wash shooting and remains in police custody for questioning.
A statement from GMP read: ‘The incidents are believed to be linked to a fued between two rival factions of criminals in Salford, and a large policing and partnership operation is in place to tackle these offenders and this evident recent escalation of violence.
Extra patrols, including armed officers, are patrolling the area to provide some reassurance.’
The shooting yesterday happened during rush hour traffic in which shots were fired across a busy road, meaning innocent bystanders could easily have been killedChief Superintendent Mary Doyle
The woman heading the investigation, Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle, said that they were linking the shooting to a series of violent incidents in the Salford area, most recently a grenade attack in the early hours of Monday morning at a house on the city’s Duchy estate.
Sources say that it is the home of drug dealer Ryan Coward who last month was jailed for 32 months at Edinburgh Sheriff Court for being concerned in the supply of cannabis.
The shooting is also being connected with an incident on the evening of March 21 on Agecroft Road, Salford, when a police patrol found a man who had suffered neck, body and back injuries following a machete attack. A man has since been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and bailed pending further inquiries.
Two men have also been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and bailed over an incident in Irlam o’th’ Heights in February when a man suffered a minor injury from a shotgun attack.
The Wigan shooting happened yesterday (Monday) at around 5.20pm when police were called to the Express Hot Hand Car Wash in Bolton Road, Ashton, following reports shots had been fired. A man was seen getting out of a white car before firing shots towards the car wash. He then got back in the vehicle, which drove off.
The victim remains in hospital in a serious condition being treated for gunshot wounds.
Chief Superintendent Doyle from GMP’s Salford division said: “Clearly there are some extremely violent attacks that have occurred across Salford over the past few weeks, a number of which we believe are between two rival factions of criminals who live and operate in the borough.
“The general public may hear the words ‘rival criminals’ and think this has nothing to do with them as it is simply offenders tergeting each other, but the reckless way in which these people operate means there is a genuine risk that innocent people could get hurt.
“The shooting yesterday happened during rush hour traffic in which shots were fired across a busy road, meaning innocent bystanders could easily have been killed.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police in GMPs Major Incident Team on 0161 856 9283 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.