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Wounded solicitor 'knew gunman'

A 58-year-old solicitor knew the gunman who blasted him in the head with a sawn-off shotgun, police have revealed.

James Ward was left fighting for his life when he was shot in the face as he worked at the offices of Morris, Goddard and Ward in Devizes, Wiltshire, on Monday afternoon.

Police said the gunman walked into the legal firm in St John's Street where Mr Ward is the principal solicitor shortly before 3pm and fired just once at the father-of-three. The gunman then drove away from the scene.

The blast smashed nearby windows and left staff inside the town centre office horrified at what they had just witnessed.

A 62-year-old local man was arrested by armed police around 35 minutes later in the nearby village of Rowde on suspicion of attempted murder. Police also recovered a sawn-off shotgun.

The suspect, who has not been identified by police, was taken to Melksham police station for questioning. Police have been granted an extra 12 hours to question him which will run out early on Wednesday morning.

Mr Ward, who is known to his friends and family as Jim, was treated by an off-duty paramedic and members of the public who had rushed to the scene having heard the commotion.

The solicitor was airlifted by the Great Western Air Ambulance to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

Mr Ward, from Westbury, Wilts, suffered life-threatening head injuries and remains in a very serious condition in hospital with his family at his bedside.

Two windows on the first floor of the office building were boarded up as forensic experts continued their work.


From Belfast Telegraph