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EYEWITNESS EXTRA UPDATE FRIDAY 21 APRIL 1999 7.15pm BST (also sent as an e-mail to members of the Eyewitness in Manchester mailing list - to join go to the form at the bottom of this page)

Greater Manchester Police van on Market St Manchester April 1998You may have heard the shocking news of a shooting incident in Greater Manchester today.

Media reports give conflicting times and locations, however, it's clear that the police chased a car down the M61 into Bolton. Shots were fired during the chase. The gang headed back north to Horwich, where they hijacked another car and took the 27 year old female driver hostage. Pursued by the police, they drove towards Rochdale, apparently along the M61, M60 and M62 motorways, then along Edenfield Road, where people waiting at a bus stop were shot at - one man was hit in the knee.

Finally two police vans cut off the car, which crashed. Two men were arrested. Police have sealed off part of the centre of Bolton, and are searching a for a third man in a warehouse on Bark St. Five people are in hospitals in Bolton, Bury and Rochdale. Some of the injuries are serious, but not life-threatening. The woman car driver is in a state of shock.

Life goes on, and in the drizzly centre of Manchester this afternoon, things were as normal.

If you'd like any more information, please e-mail me at any time. Also read the report by Steve Panter and Jill Burdett on the Manchester Online news page:

Also: At Manchester Crown Court today Darren Vickers was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Jamie Lavis.

On a lighter note: Happy St George's Day! and on Sunday there will be a St George's Day parade through the centre of Manchester, part of the Streets Ahead festival which starts this weekend. Let's hope there's good weather!

Certain details reported on the day turned out to be inaccurate: From Horwich, the gang, pusued by the police, drove along Chorley New Road, to Bolton, where they hijacked a BMW. A woman (not the driver) was snatched from the side of the street and taken hostage. Then they drove along Rochdale Old Road, under the M66 at Heywood and on towards Rochdale, finishing up on Edenfield Road, where they fired shots out the car window, injuring several people. Shortly after, two men were apprehended byt he police. A third was arrested in Bolton later. The three men are now in police custody, and no doubt will be charged in the next couple of days.

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