Hospital image released of boy, 7, shot by gunmen in Salford
This is the image of an innocent seven-year-old gun victim lying in his hospital bed and wrapped in bandages after gunmen blasted the schoolboy and his mother on their doorstep.
Little Christian Hickey was shot in the leg on Monday evening alongside his mother Jayne, 29, after they were confronted by two men when they opened the door at their Salford home.
His mother, who was shot twice in the leg and also remains in hospital, said she saw blood "pouring" from him before herself collapsing.
Police have renewed their appeal for information surrounding the double shooting which saw bank worker Mrs Hickey shot twice in her leg at close range and her son once, in Gillingham Road, Salford.
Mrs Hickey said: "I just saw blood pouring from Christian, I screamed for his dad to put pressure on him. I know he had been shot and I couldn't help him. I collapsed."
The two men had knocked on the door and reportedly asked for the boy's father, Christian senior around 9.25pm.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) appealed for people to come forward with any information on the suspected gangland feud.
Assistant Chief Constable Rebekah Sutcliffe said: "I am appealing to all the mothers, grandmothers, aunties and sisters of children in Salford to search your conscience.
"An innocent seven-year-old boy is in a hospital bed after being shot on the doorstep of his own home. As a mother myself I can begin to imagine the pain and anguish his mother is going through; no one imagines that their little boy will be shot as they answer the door.
"The shooting will be etched on Christian's memory forever, and sadly we can't change what happened to him."
Mrs Hickey added that she was unable to care for her "popular" son and hoped her "athletic sporty boy" would be able to carry on with his hobbies
She added: "He likes boxing, swimming and football. I really hope he can do this in the future. He loves life; he is so happy and enjoys school. He is a very popular boy with pupils in his class.
"I had been put with Christian yesterday in the children's ward but I then had a deterioration and had to go back to an adult ward. I can't be with him; I can't kiss him, cuddle him and tell him that he will be all right.
"Because of the shooting I can't care for my son."
Ms Sutcliffe urged people to "do the right thing"
"What we can do is find the people that did this and put a stop to the violence in Salford right now, so no more of our children get hurt. "
"To do that, we need you to stand with us and name the men that put Christian in a hospital bed. Our dedicated team of officers is working round the clock to catch the gunmen and we hope that the forensic work on the bullet casings will give us a clue, but we know the answer lies in the community."
The youngster was set to undergo further surgery today on his wounded leg.
It is hoped that the bullet will snare the gunmen and forensic investigations are under way in relation to the bullet casings recovered.
She added: "These people are capable of shooting a mum and her little boy, please don't protect them.
"If your little boy was shot you would want answers and we are asking you to be brave and break your silence for the sake of all the other children in Salford who are now at risk.
"Enough is enough, drug dealing and fighting is bad enough but a seven-year-old should never be shot at their own front door. Whatever you think of the police, please do the right thing, name the gunmen, and help us save Salford from any more violence."
Detectives said the double shooting is potentially linked to the murder of security boss Paul Massey, 55, in Salford in July, and a feud between rival gangs in the Swinton and central Salford area of the city which has so far seen at least five shootings.
A dedicated information hotline has been set up on 0161 856 9775, or people can also pass information on by calling 101, or the independent charity, Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.