Police are appealing for information after a man was shot in the legs in what is believed to have been a targeted shooting in Haydock today.
Emergency services were called at around 4.40pm to School Street, at its junction with West End Road, to reports a man had been shot.
It was reported two men, believed to be in their 20s and with their faces covered, approached the victim before one shot him to the legs. They then left the scene in a red car.
The 44-year-old man has been taken to hospital for treatment to leg injuries consistent with a shotgun discharge and his condition is described as serious.
At this early stage of the investigation, the full circumstances of the incident are unclear but it is believed to have been a targeted attack.
Officers and Crime Scene Investigators are in attendance, with cordons in place and part of School Street, Westfield Street and West End Road remain closed. Motorists are advised to seek alternative routes.
Extensive enquiries are ongoing to establish exactly what happened and locate the offenders.
CCTV from the area will also be sought and house to house enquiries are being carried out, with high visibility patrols stepped up in the area to provide reassurance to the community.
Chief Inspector Paddy Kelly said: "The investigation into this incident is in its early stages and we are keeping an open mind as to why this happened, but we do believe it was a targeted attack.
"Criminals who choose to settle their disputes with a weapon do not care about the fear and potential harm they bring to communities in Merseyside.
"We need the public to help us make the streets safer by telling us what they know about this incident and criminals who use fireams.
"If we are told who is involved in using and storing guns, I promise we will take robust action and put these people before the courts and in prison. If you know something, please pick up the phone and let us know.
"I would also appeal to anyone who was driving in the area at the time of this incident who has dashcam footage they believe may show the offenders or the car they were in to contact police."
Anyone who witnessed the incident or saw anything suspicious that could help is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC. You can also call 101 quoting log 684 of 26/02/2018 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online/