Appeal for calm after Sheffield shootings

An area on London Road and Hill Street, Sheffield which was cordoned off follwing a shooting in which a man was seriously injured
An area on London Road and Hill Street, Sheffield which was cordoned off follwing a shooting in which a man was seriously injured

THE police chief leading the investigation into two shootings on the streets of Sheffield on New Year’s Day has urged local residents not to be alarmed – while promising officers are taking ‘swift, decisive action’.

In the first incident, an 18-year-old youth was shot in the abdomen in Halfway at around 3.05am.

Then, at around 4.30am, a 45-year-old man was shot on London Road near Hill Street.

He suffered a gunshot wound to his shoulder – an injury police said is ‘potentially life-changing’.

The shootings, only 90 minutes apart, are not thought to be linked – but Supt Martin Hemingway, from South Yorkshire Police, said both were ‘targeted’ attacks.

“At this moment in time we don’t believe they are linked,” he said.

“They appear to be separate incidents where the individuals have been deliberately shot.

“There is no randomness about it but, of course, we always keep an open mind.”

Appealing for witnesses to come forward, he said: “There’s no question there are witnesses who could really help this inquiry a lot if they came to us.

“There’s a need for us to act quickly and decisively.”

Police patrols have been stepped up around London Road, and officers were yesterday conducting house-to-house inquiries in Halfway Gardens, where the teenager – from Westfield – was found bleeding on an area of grassland.

It is believed the 18-year-old had attended a house party before being shot.

Police were alerted to the London Road attack only when the 45-year-old victim – from the Manor – arrived injured at Sheffield Children’s Hospital at 4.55am.

He was taken to the Northern General Hospital, where he is currently in intensive care.

“There is no reason for the general public to be alarmed,” said Supt Hemingway.

“However, it is essential we stand together as a city and ensure the people responsible for crimes such as these are swiftly brought to justice.

“There are a number of people out there who know exactly what took place and who is responsible. We would urge them to contact us as soon as possible.”

Supt Hemingway said the shootings ended a year in which violent crime had reduced in Sheffield.

“It’s always disappointing when this level of violence occurs in what is otherwise a very safe city,” he said.

“Sheffield is significantly safer than other large cities, but crimes like this have a disproportionate impact.”

Witnesses or anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101.