Video: “I’m incredibly lucky to even be here” says Leeds shooting victim

Christopher Wright, centre, is pictured with police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson and Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams. Picture by Simon Hulme
Christopher Wright, centre, is pictured with police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson and Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams. Picture by Simon Hulme

When Christopher Wright answered a knock at the door of his Leeds home in April 2010, he could not have foreseen the life-changing events that were about to unfold.

Moments earlier he had been watching television with his wife, Denise, and now he was facing an armed man who immediately fired a shotgun at him at close range.

Christopher lay in coma for the five days which followed and underwent a series of operations at Leeds General Infirmary over the course of six weeks.

“My family were told that I was not going to make it,” Christopher said.

“When I came round I was in incredible pain. I couldn’t eat, drink, walk or talk.”

Today he relived that traumatising time in his family’s life as he explained why he was backing a weapons amnesty launched by West Yorkshire Police.

Some of the weapons handed in during West Yorkshire Police's weapons amnesty in 2016.

Some of the weapons handed in during West Yorkshire Police's weapons amnesty in 2016.

It offers people the chance to surrender knives, firearms and other offensive weapons at police stations without being prosecuted for simply possessing them.

Police begin 10 day weapons amnesty to get guns and knives off the streets

West Yorkshire weapons amnesty: Where can you hand in knives and guns?

Speaking about the impact of the shooting on his life, Christopher said: “We lost our business, we’ve nearly lost our house three times, I couldn’t work for three years and I’m incredibly lucky to even be here and telling this tale.

This is an opportunity for people that might not necessarily think about giving up their weapons to hand them in.

Christopher Wright

“Other families are not so lucky because they’ve lost their loved ones. They bring up their children and then all of a sudden they’ve gone and it could all so easily have been avoided.”

The man responsible for the devastating attack on 57-year-old Christopher was later convicted of attempted murder and jailed for life with a minimum sentence of 17 years.

During the trial, the court heard how Christopher’s son had been the intended target of the shooting.

Christopher said: “I had half expected someone turning up at our house because my son had been involved in an incident earlier in the evening.

Christopher Wright.

Christopher Wright.

“He had smashed the window of a car in a row involving a girl – but I didn’t expect anything like that.

“Our lives were completely turned upside down. It was terrible being unable to provide for my family through no fault of my own.”

Although still affected by the trauma, Christopher is back at work and grateful to be alive.

“I am a positive person and I feel very lucky, but someone else might not be as lucky as me – someone will lose their son, dad, brother or husband,” he said.

As his own experiences highlights, people have ready access to deadly weapons can have devastating consequences.

“We know that there are guns and knives on the street, people possess them,” Christopher said.

“This is an opportunity for people that might not necessarily think about giving up their weapons to hand them in at the various police stations that are available to them.”

Weapons can be handed at eight police stations across the county until Saturday, March 4.

Anyone with information about the illegal possession or use of firearms is also urged to contact West Yorkshire Police via 101.

You can also call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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