New police appeal over murder

POLICE have renewed their appeal for information about a fatal shooting in a quiet north Essex village last week.John Ward, 22, was murdered at his family home with a shotgun after he answered the door in Point Clear Road, St Osyth.

By Roddy Ashworth

POLICE have renewed their appeal for information about a fatal shooting in a quiet north Essex village last week.

John Ward, 22, was murdered at his family home with a shotgun after he answered the door in Point Clear Road, St Osyth.

At first it was thought he was the target of a gangland-style “execution” but later it emerged police believed the gunman had not originally set out to kill Mr Ward.


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After opening the door to his killer, Mr Ward - a convicted crack cocaine dealer - was apparently asked the whereabouts of another man.

But when, after a brief conversation, he closed the door the gunman blasted a single shot through it, hitting Mr Ward in the neck.

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Police and paramedics rushed to the scene at about 9.20pm on Tuesday but despite battling to try and save Mr Ward's life he died about an hour later.

Despite Mr Ward's criminal conviction - he was jailed in November last year for two-and-a-half years for dealing Class A drugs - detectives remain convinced he was not the killer's initial target.

Detective Superintendent Kevin Macey, the officer leading the murder investigation, said his team knew the name of the man the gunman had been asking about, but were not releasing it.

Yesterday a police spokeswoman said detectives were still keen to talk to anybody who had any information about the murder.

Officers have issued a computer-generated image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the killing.

He is of Asian or Turkish appearance, in his late 20s or early 30s, about 5ft 10in tall, of medium build and wearing a blue zipped top and a dark woollen hat.

Another man who was arrested following Tuesday's attack has subsequently been released.

Yesterday John White, a district councillor for the St Osyth ward, said that after the initial shock of the killing most residents had gone back to life as usual.

“It is being seen as a one-off. My initial fears were that people would be very, very worried but the general attitude is that it is drugs related and so what can you expect.

“Nobody in my circles knew the victim's family and one neighbour said they kept themselves to themselves.”

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