Updated: Sunday, 12th July 2020 @ 9:02am

'Our thoughts are with them': GMP boss Lloyd comforts family of Paul Massey after Salford's 'Mr Big' shot dead

'Our thoughts are with them': GMP boss Lloyd comforts family of Paul Massey after Salford's 'Mr Big' shot dead

| By Kim Reader

Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd has spoken out following the shooting and murder of Salford’s ‘Mr Big’, Paul Massey.

Officers found the body of a 55-year-old man dead at his home on Manchester Road, Clifton,  after reports of shots being fired at around 7:30 last night.

The victim of the ‘targeted attack’ has been named locally as the security boss, businessman, and former mayoral candidate Mr Massey but this has yet to be confirmed by police.

Mr Lloyd extended his condolences to the victim’s family and urged the community not to fear.

He said: “This is of course a personal tragedy for the family of the victim and our thoughts are with them.

“The police, quite rightly, want to reassure the public that they can go about their business without fear.

“Through the ongoing Operation Gulf, police in Salford have been cracking down on violent crime in recent years and this intensive work has improved confidence in the police.”

Mr Lloyd, however, reminded the public that the police ‘cannot work alone’ and need the help and support of the community if they are to catch this killer.

He said: “It’s only when members of the community come forward with local knowledge and information, that the police will be able to arrest those responsible and bring them to justice.

“I am therefore asking anyone with any information about this incident to please come forward and speak to police directly or contact Crimestoppers in complete confidence.”

As a murder investigation has been launched and enquiries are still ongoing, press have been told there will be no further comment on this case until later today or until an official identification has taken place.

In the meantime GMP have increased patrols in the area to reassure people after this ‘alarming’ incident.

Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson said: “People will understandably be alarmed when they hear about this incident which we believe was a targeted attack.

“I would like to reassure the public that we have a heightened level of police officers in the area tonight while we establish the full circumstances of the incident and identify those responsible.

“We are actively following a number of lines of enquiry however, I would urge the local community to come forward if they saw or heard anything in the area.

“I urge anybody with any information about what's happened to come forward. I want to stress that any information received will be treated in the strictest confidence.”

Paul was jailed for 14 years in 1999 for stabbing a man in the groin but had turned his life around and even ran for mayor in 2012.

At the time, his brother John Massey spoke of how 'proud' he was of brother.

He said: “To be honest Paul has had a bit of bad press but now he has made a change.

“It is a change to see him doing something good.”

“I would stand a better chance of winning than Paul would. I think Paul just fancied standing for the sake of it. It came out of the blue to be honest.

“I am proud of my brother and that makes a change.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Image courtesy of BBC, via YouTube, with thanks.