Pc shooting suspect questioned

Thurrock Gazette: James Leslie was arrested about a mile from the scene of the shooting in Leeds James Leslie was arrested about a mile from the scene of the shooting in Leeds

Police are questioning a man over the shooting of an unarmed officer during a routine neighbourhood call.

The 33-year-old officer is believed to have been blasted with a shotgun as she and a male colleague called at a house in the Hyde Park area of Leeds shortly after 4am yesterday.

She received serious injuries to her head, neck and right hand and is in a stable condition in a Leeds hospital.

Following a six-hour manhunt suspect James Leslie, 37, was arrested near a primary school about a mile from the scene of the shooting.

Armed police and other officers, supported by the West Yorkshire Police helicopter, scoured the the Hyde Park and Headingley areas of the city after Leslie fled the scene of the shooting on a bike.

The wounded officer has not been named but she is understood to have been in the force for a number of years and recently transferred from a neighbourhood policing team to the response unit.

Chief Superintendant Paul Money of West Yorkshire Police said he believed his officer was hit by one shot from the gun as she called at a large semi-detached house in Cardigan Lane to "arrest an individual for a criminal damage-type offence".

He said the officer managed to push a panic button to raise the alarm after she was hit and the commander praised her colleague who immediately gave controllers a real-time commentary on the unfolding incident over his personal radio.

"I have spoken and met with the officer's family at the hospital in Leeds and I have reassured them that everything possible is being and will be done to support the officer," Mr Money said as he visited the scene of the shooting yesterday.

"Her colleagues were quite understandably upset as well but they are displaying the qualities we so often see from our police officers and police staff in West Yorkshire in traumatic situations.

"When I met them this morning their concerns were around public safety and around supporting the injured officer."

Hyde Park resident Kieran Williams, 17, said he believed the shooting was linked to an altercation he and his housemates had with Leslie on Tuesday.

He said a woman police officer had visited his house to investigate an allegation that a bottle had been thrown at their window, and that at about 3.30am yesterday he heard gunshots.

West Yorkshire chief constable Mark Gilmore said: "I wish to pay a huge tribute to the bravery and selfless dedication of my colleagues who, whilst responding to a routine call about anti-social behaviour, sustained a violent, unprovoked and brutal attack from a lone gunman."

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