The family of one of the female Greater Manchester Police officers shot dead in Tameside yesterday have spoken of how ‘proud’ they are of her.
Nicola Hughes, was just 23 when she was gunned down along with Fiona Bone, 32, when attending what they thought was a routine burglary – but turned out to be an horrific trap.
It emerged that Greater Manchester’s most wanted man, Dale Cregan, was hiding at the Hattersley property, which resulted in a gun and grenade fight.
Her family said: “We cannot express how we feel today except to say we have always been exceedingly proud of Nicola and always will be. She knew she was loved by us all and we shall all miss her dreadfully.”
Nicola, who had been in the service for just over three years, leaves behind a mother, father and younger brother.
“Nicola was our only daughter and a beautiful child. She was always happy with life and lived for her family,” they said.
“She had an infectious personality and sense of humour and was a very caring and loving girl. When she left the house this morning she was going to the job she loved.
“Nicola always wanted to make a difference and, in doing so, she made such a big difference to everyone she knew. She cared about everyone and especially her colleagues.”
Thousands of messages of condolence are pouring in on Greater Manchester Police’s online book of condolences for the two officers.
Almost ten thousand heartfelt messages have now been left on the site from members of the public across Manchester and the rest of the country.
Work is underway to create a physical book for people to leave tributes in.