Police investigating a drive-by shooting in Moss Side that left two teenage girls injured swooped to make four arrests in dawn raids today, it's been revealed.
Specialist armed officers executed a 'number' of simultaneous warrants in the Middleton area of Greater Manchester. Three arrests were made, with a fourth arrest also made in Sheffield, Greater Manchester Police said.
All four suspects were held on suspicion of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. They remained in custody for questioning today. No further details have been revealed, including ages and sexes of those arrested.
The girls, aged 13 and 16, were injured in the attack outside a house on Quinney Crescent in Moss Side on July 29 this year. The elder of the two was taken to hospital with what police described today as 'serious injuries' from a shotgun blast.
It emerged days later that the youngest girl suffered what police called a 'graze' wound, believed to be from shrapnel resulting from the firearms discharge. "Both attended hospital at the time and were subsequently discharged to recover at home," said GMP in a statement today.
Both girls were said today to have been 'simply innocent bystanders' and not intended targets.
Detective Superintendent Chris Downey said at the time of the incident, a 'family were coming together to celebrate a loved one who passed away' when a gunman in a dark-coloured SUV opened fire on the crowd.
He later confirmed it had been the one-year anniversary of the death of Joan Spence, 70, who died in July 2021 when a two-car smash caused a traffic light pole to hit her on the head.
Dramatic photos show a car riddled with pellet marks following the attack, with police saying 'we're incredibly lucky that we didn't have two murders that evening'.
Detectives today renewed an appeal for witnesses and urged anyone with any information about the shooting, or the vehicle of interest, as well as any mobile, CCTV, dashcam or doorbell footage, to come forward and speak to GMP. Police patrols have been stepped up.
Detective Superintendent David Meeney said: "This incident could have been far more serious. We do not believe that the two girls were the intended targets and were simply innocent bystanders, enjoying a party.
"This shows me that the people responsible are clearly dangerous as they have shown zero regard for who could have been injured that night. Guns have no place on the streets of Manchester and investigating these offences is a priority for GMP – to ensure we that we can bring the offenders to justice and protect the communities of Greater Manchester.
"Today’s arrests, led by the Xcalibre Task Force, shows how determined we are to bring those responsible for this callous attack to justice. I am appealing to anyone who was in the area of Moss Side on Friday 29 July 2022 between 10pm and 11pm, who may have seen a vehicle being driven erratically, to contact us.
"I am particularly interested in any sightings of a dark coloured SUV-type car and I am asking for anyone with any dashcam or doorbell footage that may have captured those responsible, either arriving or leaving the area, to please contact us. I have trained officers on-hand who can download and review any footage quickly.
"I am also appealing to anyone in the local community and those who live or work in the surrounding areas, who may have any information regarding the shooting to come forward. As well as approaching our officers who are out today, you can call 101 or use the Live Chat service on our website – www.gmp.police.uk."
In a statement on Wednesday, GMP said: "GMP's Xcalibre Task Force executed a number of simultaneous warrants in Middleton this morning and arrested three individuals on suspicion of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
"Another individual was also arrested in Sheffield on the same charges. These arrests relate to the attempted murder of a teenage girl on Quinney Crescent, Moss Side on Friday 29 July 2022." No further details have been revealed.
Read more of today's top stories here
- Salford lad who directed film slammed for 'vile stereotypes' defends movie as it appears in Netflix's most-watched list
- Bomb squad scrambled following 17-year-old's terrifying hoax - police feared they'd be killed
- The historic church being shaken to its foundations by motorway traffic
- Where to find the cheapest petrol prices in Greater Manchester
- Frustrated councillors claim Greater Manchester is a 'criminal free-for-all' despite improved GMP report