Living in fear

Police cordon off a street in Sutton near to where the shooting took place
Police cordon off a street in Sutton near to where the shooting took place

DETECTIVES are investigating whether a bitter, long-running feud was behind a “targeted” shooting in which a gunman fired a shotgun at a St Helens house.

Shocked neighbours told how they heard “very loud blasts” at about 9.30pm last Thursday and how residents in the area were “living in fear”.

Several neighbours believed that the worrying incident was linked to a long-running feud between warring families.When police arrived at the scene, in Leonard Street, Sutton, they found that shots had been fired at the front door of a house.

Luckily, nobody was inside the property at the time and nobody was injured.

But police say they are now doing “everything possible” to find the culprits.

Officers from the force’s anti-gun Matrix team are working alongside local policing teams in a bid to identify the offenders and establish a motive for the attack.

Chief Supt Rob Carden, the St Helens Area Commander, said: “This was a targeted attack carried out, we believe, by one group of people who are in dispute with another.

“Although clearly worrying for law-abiding members of the public who live in the area, I can assure them this was not a random shooting.

“Firearms discharges in St Helens are a rarity and, on this occasion, no-one was in the house at the time and no-one was injured.

“An investigation is now under way to establish who did it and why.

“Warrants have been executed at addresses already and a high-visibility police presence will continue. We are determined to trace and arrest the culprits and I would urge anyone with any information about this incident, or others, to tell us.

“A variety of different types of police officers will be in the area as part of this investigation, including police community support officers, and I would urge anyone with information or any concerns to let them know so that we can help.

“The use of firearms in the communities of St Helens will not be tolerated by the police and we are doing everything we can to catch those responsible.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call Merseyside Police’s Matrix team on 0151 7775699 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.