A man celebrating at a 60th birthday party has been shot dead by "a lone gunman".
The victim, named by sources as 23-year-old Mark Short, was gunned down in the Cotton Tree pub in Market Street, Droylsden, Greater Manchester shortly before 11.50pm yesterday.
Three other men, believed to be related to Short, were also injured and are being treated in hospital.
Speaking from the scene, Chief Superintendent Nick Adderley said a man burst into the private party and opened fire on a group of men around the pool table.
"We don't believe this to be a random attack, although we are not clear about who the intended victim was," he said.
"We understand this was a family occasion and that a lone gunman walked into the premises and opened fire on a group of males stood by the pool table."
Between 20 and 30 people, aged 18-65, were said to be in the pub at the time.
Adderley said officers were keeping an open mind about the motive but said all the victims were known to the police.
Two men, aged 25 and 26, were shot in the leg and a 29-year-old man was shot in his lower back.
The gunman was wearing a balaclava and escaped in a Ford Focus which was found abandoned and alight in Ellison Close, Hattersley a short time later.
Extra officers are on patrol in the area and a murder investigation has been launched by Greater Manchester Police's major incident team.
Floral tributes were left at the scene.
A message on one read: "To Mark. Rest in peace. Love and miss you always. Amanda Joyce.xxxx"
Another read: "Bye Mark. So sad. May you have a bed in heaven. All my love. Teresa Joyce. xxxx"
John Aldridge, 50, who runs John's Barber Shop next door to the pub, said his business had been there for 29 years.
"It's worrying. You try to keep it in the back of your mind to be honest," he said.
His business was forced to close for the day while police forensic teams carried out their investigations.
Another neighbour, 84, said he was now moving out of the area.
"It's bad, considering it's right on your doorstep," he added.
Nick Adderley: 'It was a lone gunman"
Adderley said police believed the gunman used a revolver and that four shots were fired in the pub.
It is understood that two people may have been waiting outside the pub in the getaway car.
The shooting is not thought to be gang-related, but Mr Adderley said that could not be ruled out by investigators.
He said the victim's family were "deeply shocked" and were being looked after by police family liaison officers.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: "A young man has been killed in tragic circumstances and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.
"Three others were also seriously injured and I want to reassure the public that we will commit the full resources of our major incident team to investigate this incident.
"We are in the very early stages of this inquiry so to speculate on a motive would not be helpful to our investigation, the victims and their families or the local community.
"That said, whoever is responsible has not thought twice about opening fire in a crowded pub and I would urge anyone with information about the gunman, his accomplices or conspirators to contact us in absolute confidence."
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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