Manchester shooting victims hit in legs with shotgun at Moss Side carnival party, police say

Victims injured in a shooting in Manchester were hit by pellets fired from a shotgun in what is being treated as attempted murder, police have said.

Children as young as 12 were injured in the incident at around 2.30am on Sunday morning, as a crowd of several hundred people enjoyed a street party following the Caribbean Carnival in Moss Side.

Greater Manchester Police are investigating the shooting as attempted murder but have not yet identified a motive for the “reckless” act.

Chief Superintendent Wasim Chaudhry said officers were investigating whether the attack was targeted after being met with scenes of “confusion”.

“There was a large crowd of several hundred people still celebrating following the carnival event and a number of these people had received injuries,” he told a press conference.

“Ten people were highlighted as having been injured and they were taken to hospital, their ages range from late childhood through to in their 50s.

“The injuries were consistent with pellet injuries, predominantly around the injured parties’ legs, which have required hospital treatment…our working premise is that it was a shotgun involved in the incident.”

A further two people took themselves to hospital on Sunday, although police said their injuries were not thought to be serious.

Footage posted on social media had shown panic and confusion as police tried to help crowds of people.

One man can be heard shouting “Move!” while another asks “Can you hear me?” as officers could be seen helping people on the ground.

One person has discharged themselves from hospital and the other nine victims are still undergoing treatment, including a man suffering a broken leg, for light to serious injuries, police said.

Ch Supt Choudhry said that “thankfully” none were life-threatening, adding: “It would be obvious to any particular person that discharging a firearm in a large crowd like this is completely reckless.”

The shooting happened in Claremont Road, which remains seized off as investigators search for evidence among discarded rubbish, alcohol bottles, food containers and other remnants from the celebrations.

They are reviewing CCTV footage and speaking to hundreds of witnesses in efforts to identify a suspect.

Local residents were told to expect an increased police presence both from neighbourhood officers and armed units.

No one has yet been arrested in connection with the shooting, which came hours after the end of the Caribbean Carnival, amid several parties in the area.

Police officers at the scene in Claremont Road, Moss Side, Manchester, where several people have been injured after a shooting (Peter Byrne/PA Wire)
Police officers at the scene in Claremont Road, Moss Side, Manchester, where several people have been injured after a shooting (Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

Beverley Hughes, Greater Manchester's deputy mayor for crime, said: “Clearly this incident will have caused major concern to people in the area, not least because of the work that police, other agencies and local people themselves have done to transform Moss Side in recent years.

"So I would like to praise Greater Manchester Police for their swift action, and also local people who have responded quickly to say this doesn't reflect the Moss Side of 2018.

"It is a great relief that no-one was more seriously hurt - and we wish all those injured a speedy recovery."

Councillors had urged people to attend the second day of festivities in Moss Side as the investigation continued.

Pat Karney said the incident could have “happened in any city in any country”.

“It's an individual, an idiot, who was messing around with a firearm and you can't tar a whole community because of some idiotic behaviour,” he added.

"I think the fact that over 16,000 people came out to the carnival yesterday indicates the strength of the community here and their desire to celebrate their area."

Moss Side councillor Sameem Ali appealed to locals to “enjoy the day as usual”, adding: ”It was an isolated incident and I do want to reassure the community and ask them to come out and enjoy the second day of the carnival because it's a fantastic event and it's really positive.”

The annual Caribbean Carnival had started with a parade through Moss Side involving local schools and community groups earlier in the day, and celebrations were set to continue in and around Alexandra Park on Sunday.

Security was increased ahead of the 2017 event following a spate of gang violence including the fatal stabbing of an 18-year-old boy.

Youth worker Kemoy Walker said he had been on the main stage at the carnival, which finished at about 8pm, on Saturday and had been at another street party on Claremont Road until about 11.30pm.

He told the Press Association: “The party I was at was beautiful. When I left there was lovely dancing. That's Moss Side, that's the culture. I'm in shock this morning.”

“We need to get the message across to young people to make sure they are not getting involved in negativity,” he added.

“Moss Side has come such a long way and there are great things happening in our community now. Hearing this, I just think why is this happening.”

The shooting came amid a nationwide increase in violent crime, with the number of homicides recorded by police in England and Wales up by 12 per cent, knife crime offences by 16 per cent and robbery by 30 per cent in the year to March.

The Office for National Statistics reported a 2 per cent rise in gun crime in the same period, to almost 6,500 offences, but said the increase was “far less pronounced than previously seen”.

Anyone with any information is asked to call on 0161 856 4166 quoting incident number 297 of 12 August, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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