Street party shot­gun at­tack ‘could have led to mul­ti­ple deaths’

Po­lice treat Manch­ester shoot­ings as at­tempted mur­der amid claim car­ni­val be­came like ‘Wild West’

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Joel Adams

A SHOT­GUN at­tack in Manch­ester that left 12 vic­tims, in­clud­ing two chil­dren, in hos­pi­tal had the po­ten­tial to have re­sulted in mul­ti­ple deaths, po­lice have said.

Greater Manch­ester Po­lice (GMP) is treat­ing the at­tack as at­tempted mur­der and last night were search­ing for the at­tacker and the weapon.

The shoot­ing hap­pened at 2.25am yes­ter­day dur­ing a street party that fol­lowed the an­nual Caribbean Car­ni­val in Moss Side.

A for­mer Manch­ester coun­cil of­fi­cial said that each year the car­ni­val de­gen­er­ated “from a fam­ily at­mos­phere to the Wild West” af­ter dark, with po­lice afraid to leave their ve­hi­cles and will­ing to turn a blind eye to all but the most se­ri­ous crimes.

The force de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tions. A po­lice source said of­fi­cers, both armed and un­armed, had been on foot pa­trol in the vicin­ity and had re­sponded to re­ports of a gun­shot within one minute.

It comes af­ter gun crime of­fences in Lon­don were re­vealed ear­lier this year to have jumped 42 per cent, from 1,793 of­fences in 2015/16 to 2,544 last year.

In yes­ter­day’s at­tack, po­lice re­sponded to re­ports of two loud bangs. Ch Supt Wasim Chaudhry of GMP said: “What they were faced with was a large crowd of peo­ple con­tin­u­ing to cel­e­brate the car­ni­val. There was a state of panic. Of­fi­cers car­ried out first aid. Ten peo­ple have re­ceived in­juries which were re­lated to gun shot. Prob­a­bly a shot­gun dis­charge. How many times it was dis­charged is un­clear.”

Dur­ing the course of yes­ter­day two fur­ther vic­tims pre­sented them­selves at hos­pi­tal with in­juries, which are not thought to be se­ri­ous.

The youngest vic­tim is 12 and the old­est is in their 50s, with in­juries con­sis­tent with pel­let wounds from a shot­gun or air ri­fle. Foren­sics re­ports have led po­lice to con­clude the weapon was prob­a­bly a shot­gun.

The most se­ri­ously in­jured per­son has a bro­ken leg, although it is not clear if this was a di­rect re­sult of gun­fire.

De­tec­tives are still work­ing to es­tab­lish the mo­tive be­hind the at­tack, but are cur­rently treat­ing it as at­tempted mur­der. Nick Buck­ley, who worked in po­lice sta­tions with Manch­ester’s crime and dis­or­der team as a coun­cil safety man­ager, told The Daily Tele­graph he had warned re­peat­edly that the car­ni­val had the po­ten­tial to de­scend into vi­o­lence. “Dur­ing the day it’s a lovely fam­ily at­mos­phere, it’s a great car­ni­val for peo­ple,” he said.

“When night comes it’s the Wild West. Po­lice of­fi­cers have said to me, when they’re work­ing it, they don’t get out of their ve­hi­cles. They only deal with the most se­ri­ous in­ci­dents. Ev­ery­thing less se­ri­ous than a shoot­ing is prac­ti­cally ig­nored. It’s a sense of ‘ev­ery­thing else, we’ll look at that af­ter the car­ni­val’.”

Mr Buck­ley, who left the coun­cil af­ter the ri­ots of 2011 to found a youth out­reach char­ity, added: “For that week­end in that area, it seems that ev­ery law we have in the coun­try doesn’t ap­ply any more to that part of Moss Side.”

A spokesman for GMP said the ac­cu­sa­tion was “not cor­rect”, point­ing out of­fi­cers were on foot pa­trol in the area at the time of the shoot­ing.

Ear­lier in the day, crowds of more than 16,000 had en­joyed an ex­trav­a­ganza of live mu­sic and colour­ful cos­tumes at the an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of Caribbean cul­ture in nearby Alexan­dra Park. Po­lice are not draw­ing a link be­tween the car­ni­val and the shoot­ing.

‘For that week­end in that area, it seems that ev­ery law we have in the coun­try doesn’t ap­ply any more to that part of Moss Side’

Greater Manch­ester Po­lice’s Tac­ti­cal Aid Unit car­ries out a fin­ger­tip search of the scene. Above, the Caribbean Car­ni­val pro­ces­sion

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