DETECTIVES hunting the killer of a 22-year-old man shot dead in a car in Sheffield city centre want to find a red Mitsubishi Shogun spotted near the scene.
Jordan Thomas was one of two men in a silver Ford Mondeo who were shot at from the passenger side of the vehicle while it was stationary on Derek Dooley Way at the traffic lights just before Sheffield Parkway at 10.15pm on Sunday.
The car was driven to Sheffield Parkway before the two men were taken to Northern General Hospital.
Mr Thomas, the passenger in the vehicle, suffered fatal injuries while the driver, 27, who is also from Sheffield, sustained serious injuries and was last night in hospital in a stable condition.
Speaking at the scene today, Detective Chief Inspector Craig Robinson of South Yorkshire Police said: “The events of Sunday evening are shocking and inexcusable.
“A young life has been lost in tragic circumstances. My thoughts go to the family and friends of Jordan Thomas who was one of the victims in this incident.
“As part of the investigation, we know the car Jordan was a passenger in, a silver Ford Mondeo, was stationary at the(se) traffic lights on Derek Dooley Way.
“We believe the car was shot at from the passenger side, and then travelled down the Sheffield parkway after the incident, leaving at the first exit heading towards the markets, before pulling into a layby and contacting police.
“I want to hear from anyone who may have been travelling on Derek Dooley Way, between 10pm and 10.40pm on Sunday evening, who may have witnessed the incident, or has any information, no matter how unimportant they feel it may be, it could be a vital piece of evidence that could greatly assist the investigation.
“I’d also like to hear from anyone who may have seen a red Mitsubishi Shogun in and around Sheffield city centre on Sunday evening, and after the time of the incident.
“I do believe this may have been a targeted attack against Jordan and the 27-year-old driver of the Mondeo, however it is early on in the investigation, and this is one of the reasons why we need people to come forward.
“Thankfully, this type of incident isn’t a regular occurrence in South Yorkshire, and I want to reassure our communities that we are committed to finding those responsible for this unjustifiable crime.”
A post-mortem examination yesterday evening concluded Mr Thomas died as a result of gun shot injuries. No-one has been arrested.
One Sheffield resident posted on the Facebook page of ‘Sheffield Online’ that Northern General Hospital was “swarming with police” on Sunday night after the victims were brought in.
One local wrote on Twitter: “Thoughts go out to the families of the two shot young men on Sheffield Parkway. Was eery (sic) driving down there this morning - can’t believe it.”
Another added: “Just seen the shocking news that a man has been shot dead in #Sheffield Prayers for those grieving his death.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield MP Nick Clegg spoke of his shock on Twitter yesterday morning. He wrote: “Shocked to hear what happened in Sheffield. Any loss of life is a tragedy. I hope those with info will do all they can to help the police.”
At the scene of the shooting on the main ring road out of Sheffield a heavy police presence remained in place yesterday.
One lane of the four-lane carriageway remained cordoned off and a team of police officers stood guard, as large volumes of traffic passed the site. Three men also arrived at the city centre scene to leave flowers.
Adjacent to where the shooting took place is a large building, owned by professional services company Capita, where employees arriving at work spoke of their shock.
Tom Horley, 29, from Sheffield, said: “I just turned up at work this morning and saw it all cordoned off. It’s a bit of a scary thing to arrive at work to on a Monday morning, it’s not what you expect to see.
“It’s sad to hear of someone losing their life so close to Christmas. I hope the other guy pulls through.”
Kate Norman, 26, from Sheffield, said: “I heard about it on the news and realised where it had happened was right outside where I work.
“I didn’t really believe it until I turned up here and saw a load police cars outside. I can’t really believe it, it’s a real shock. We’re all completely gobsmacked this could happen.”
Witnesses should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Mr Thomas’s family described the shooting as an “act of cowardice” and appealed to anyone with information to come forward.
In a statement, the family said: “Jordan truly was full of life, with his cheeky grin and quick wit, he was a charmer, anyone luckily enough to have met Jordan will attest to this and those that have met him truly did love him.
“Jordan was taken from us in an act of cowardice on Sunday night, an act which has left the family and community devastated.
“We would like to appeal to the public; we need your help to apprehend those responsible. If you saw or heard something we desperately need your help. You may even know those responsible.”