Detectives investigating targeted shooting by masked men at traffic lights in Leeds

A large police cordon remains in place more than 12 hours after masked men carried out what is believed to have been a targeted shooting on a busy Leeds road.

Thursday, 10th May 2018, 1:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th May 2018, 1:36 pm
Police at the scene in Burmantofts Street, Leeds.

The shooting yesterday evening left a 23-year-old victim, who had been a front seat passenger in a BMW, needing hospital treatment for a minor shoulder injury.

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He has since been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and is currently being held in custody.

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Police at the scene in Burmantofts Street, Leeds.

A silver Mazda 3 which carried the attackers was later found burned out in Davies Avenue, Roundhay.

PCSOs have spent the morning standing guard around the perimeter, helping to direct confused pedestrians trying to get about their day and make it on time to appointments at nearby St James' Hospital.

Buses and cars crawl along in the queues of traffic building up on Accommodation Street and Lincoln Green Road to the north of the cordon, and Marsh Lane and the slip-road onto the A64 York Road to the south.

Access is also being prevented from Nippet Lane and Rigton Approach.

The cordon remains in place while forensics specialists complete their work at the scene, although there was little to see apart from one officer taking pictures near the traffic lights in Burmantofts Street where the attack took place.

Pedestrians being directed around the cordon this morning were being told nothing about the incident by officers on the ground, but there had already been plenty of speculation on social media about a shooting.

Upon hearing it could be a shooting, one woman expressed surprise as it is rare for anything like that to happen in the area.

But the last few years have seen a number of drive-by shootings and targeted attacks of this kind in Leeds, often linked to the city's drug trade and feuds between those involved in it.

A series of shootings in Leeds during summer 2016 were linked to an ongoing feud between criminal gangs in the city.

They included shots being fired at a car in North Street in the city centre; the shooting of a 25-year-old man in Jackie Smart Court, Chapeltown; the shooting of a 20-year-old man in Francis Street, Chapeltown, and an incident where shots were fired from one car towards another car in Roundhay Road.

Although most of the firearms incidents seen in the city in recent years have resulted in damage to vehicles or minor injuries only, the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Raheem Wilks at a barber's shop in Leeds was said to be revenge shooting.

Detective Inspector Andy Farrell, of West Yorkshire Police Firearms Prevent Team, today said: “We believe this has been a targeted attack on the victim. The criminal use of firearms on the streets is always something that we treat very seriously and we are currently carrying out extensive enquiries to identify those responsible and to establish the full circumstances surrounding this incident.

“We appreciate that incidents of this nature will cause understandable concern to the public but we are keen to reassure people that we have specialist officers who are working to identify those involved and take appropriate action. We are also liaising with our colleagues in the local neighbourhood policing team who will be increasing their presence in the area to reassure people.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Firearms Prevent Team via 101, quoting Operation Flowwick, or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.