Gunman who carried out shooting spree in targeted attack given 20 years in jail

Thomas Anderson, 22, of no fixed abode, appeared at Preston Crown Court to be sentenced today (Friday) for the shocking incident at an address in Skelmersdale.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 5:02 pm
Updated Friday, 16th April 2021, 5:04 pm

During the incident, which occurred on October 15, 2019, Anderson made his way through a house on Belfield in Skelmersdale with a handgun.

He shot first at a 22-year-old man, causing injuries to his upper chest and shoulder.

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Thomas Anderson

Emergency treatment was provided to all three victims at the scene which also involved the use of the air ambulance. The men are recovering from their injuries.

Immediately after the incident Anderson fled the scene on a pedal cycle, before ordering a taxi to take him to Upholland train station. He then arranged for a second taxi, providing a different name to try and cover his tracks.

An extensive police investigation uncovered mobile phone evidence, CCTV footage and evidence left at the crime scene.

A red coat worn by Anderson whilst fleeing the scene was found a short time later at Upholland train station.

Thomas Anderson with the bike he used to flee the scene

A detailed forensic examination of this jacket was undertaken which recovered a bullet case in a pocket and traces of gun shot residue. A mobile phone was in close proximity to the jacket which linked back to Anderson

In February this year he appeared in court, where he pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder, two counts of assault with intent to commit GBH and one count of possession of a firearm.

He was sentenced to 20 years behind bars on Friday.

DI Steve Monk, of Lancashire Police, said: “This attack was targeted and deliberate and he was intent on causing either fatalities or serious harm to persons on that afternoon.

"The level of violence used by Anderson was significant, careless and totally unnecessary.

"We’ll never be certain what Anderson’s motive was that day, but we believe he had a grievance against one of the victims and as a result entered the address with a handgun and shot all three people he came across.

“It is pure luck that nobody was killed and I am thankful the three victims are making a full recovery from their physical injuries.

“Anderson pleaded guilty earlier this year and is now facing a significant period of time behind bars.

“It is clear that Anderson is dangerous and a very violent offender and is now being held to account for his actions.

“I also hope this sentence brings the victims some closure, now they have seen justice served and a dangerous man removed from the streets.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the investigation team for the dedication and commitment they have shown to identify and bring to justice this violent individual, as well as the CPS and prosecution team for their contribution.

“We take incidents of this nature extremely seriously and this result should send the message that we absolutely will not tolerate gun crime in Lancashire.”

Anybody with concerns about firearms should report them to us by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Independent charity Crimestoppers can be reached anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at

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