Leeds woodland shooting: Victim was ‘family man’

Police in Gledhow Valley, Leeds, where the body was found
Police in Gledhow Valley, Leeds, where the body was found
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The man found shot dead in woods in Leeds was a working “family man”, police have revealed.

The body of 31-year-old Colin Pierre, from Gipton, was discovered by two teenagers as they walked to Roundhay High School through Gledhow Valley Woods, in Chapel Allerton, Leeds, on Tuesday morning.

At a press conference today, Detective Superintendent Simon Beldon said construction worker Mr Pierre was known to police, but he added: “Colin was a family man who had a six-year-old daughter and worked full time. His family are utterly distraught at what has happened to him and want to know why someone would do this.

“No-one deserves to be shot and left to die like this alone in the woods.”

A post-mortem on Tuesday revealed Mr Pierre had suffered a gunshot wound in an incident that is thought to have happened at about 2am on Tuesday.

Police believe it was a targeted attack.

Det Supt Beldon said police had spoken to several witnesses but appealed for the public’s continued help as enquiries continued.

He said: “We are very keen to hear from any potential witnesses who saw anyone or any vehicles in the vicinity around this time.

“We are conducting extensive enquiries to establish the full circumstances surrounding Colin’s death but would welcome any information that could assist the investigation.”

He also moved to reassure the public, saying: “Although our enquiries are still at a relatively early stage, it appears that this has been a targeted attack and we don’t believe there is any wider risk to the public.

“Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team are conducting additional patrols in the area to provide reassurance.”

Two boys found the body of Mr Pierre close to Gledhow Lane at about 8.15am on Tuesday. Two other boys and a girl from the school arrived minutes later. They immediately alerted police and the ambulance service, but the man was confirmed dead at the scene.

The mother of one of the teenagers, Sue Watson, said she received a call from her daughter after she was taken to Stainbeck police station to be interviewed.

Ms Watson said: “At first I couldn’t comprehend what she was telling me, but once I did it obviously came as quite a shock. It’s just not what you expect.”

“I was extremely impressed with the way they all behaved. “Their first thought was to call the police and the ambulance service and make sure there was a uniformed presence at the scene.” The teenagers, have all been offered counselling.

A large section of the woods, which are popular with walkers, was cordoned off while investigations were carried out.

Lara Morley, who lives nearby, was returning from a night shift when she saw police activity.

She said: “I was on my way home from work when I saw several police cars. I walk through there a lot – It’s such a quiet area, it’s a real shock.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.