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A major police investigation has been launched after a man was shot in the head with a shotgun in Accrington.

A shotgun was fired at about 9pm last night outside an address on Maudsley Street, leaving a 35-year-old man with serious head injuries.

The victim was taken by ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

Police said his injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

A major investigation has been launched and an incident room opened at Blackburn.

Detective Supt Eddie Thistlethwaite, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said: "We are in the early stages of this investigation but I would urge anyone with information to get in touch.

“We have a large team of officers and staff working on this inquiry and we are determined to bring those responsible to justice.”

He added: "The discharge of a firearm in Lancashire is rare and this is the first incident we have had for some time in East Division.

"I would reassure the public that patrols will be stepped up in the area and a team of highly trained officers are dealing with this incident. Should anyone have any information that could assist the investigation then I would urge them to call the police.

“Gun crime affects a very small number of people. We take a very proactive approach into dealing with firearm incidents and we are determined to find the people responsible.”

GV of scene where a man was shot on Maudsley Street, Accrington
 

Residents in the area surrounding Maudsley Street have been left shocked by the incident.

Ian Smith, who lives on Arnold Street, said: “I came back from my girlfriend’s house about midnight and the whole place was sealed off.

“It's been on Facebook that someone was shot in the head. I had to call a friend to come down and stay with me, it's really shook me up.

“I’ve lived here about six months and it's generally quite quiet, but after what happened last night I couldn't settle.”

Another neighbour, who has only been living in the area for a month, said: “My brother came to see me last night and he heard gunshots.

“I only just moved in here about a month ago and I want to leave now, I was told this area was quiet.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on the non-emergency number 101 quoting log number 1230 of January 12th or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.