Gunman still on the loose after Wigan shootings

A gunman remains at large after a night of terror in Wigan during which a woman was shot twice in the back.

The 41-year-old victim remains in a stable condition in hospital as officers continue the hunt for her would-be murderer.

Police at the scene of one of the shooting incidents

Police at the scene of one of the shooting incidents

Major incident investigations were launched in no fewer than four separate areas of the borough on Thursday morning as detectives tried to piece together the night of violence.

Shots were fired at an address in Redland Court, a quiet cul-de-sac just off Bolton Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield shortly before 12.30am.

A woman inside was shot twice in the back after bullets were fired through her living room window.

She was rushed to hospital but police say her injuries are not life-threatening.

Meanwhile, just over a mile away, residents reported hearing “a flurry” of at least eight gunshots shortly after midnight in Vicarage Road, Abram.

Many also recall hearing what sounded like a motorcycle speed away from the scene.

Images showed multiple bullet holes in the front of the house but nobody was injured.

Eyewitnesses said on social media: “I heard a flurry of four to six shots, followed by a gap then two more shots, then a vehicle, likely motorbike, speeding off.”

Another said: “Swear I heard gun shots last night”, adding: “Sounded like six shots or more one after the other. Didn’t sound like fireworks.”

Another person responded: “That’s what I heard I think it was about eight shots and then a motorbike sped off.”

Both streets were sealed off by police officers who swarmed the area, sending in sniffer dogs and forensic investigators to comb for vital clues.

The force also found a black BMW on a dirt track just off Bolton Road, near the scene of the second shooting.

It had been torched, and was being scrutinised by yet more boilersuited forensics officers.

Officers also taped off an area of Winstanley Road, close to Lily Lane in Bryn Gates, where a white Toyota Aygo was found abandoned.

The vehicle had ploughed into a fence on the corner of the street, and its occupants had fled the scene.

Chief Insp Liz Sanderson, of GMP’s Wigan district, said: “Our thoughts are with the woman as she makes her recovery and I would like to stress just how seriously we are taking these incidents.

“Firearms were discharged at both locations within a matter of minutes of each other and we are treating these two incidents as linked.

“We would like to reassure residents that extra patrols will be in the area and anyone with concerns should speak to a police officer.”

A motive for the shooting has not yet been confirmed by police who say that no arrests have yet taken place.

Anybody with information should contact police on 0161 856 3034 quoting incident number 0050 of 12/09/2019, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.