Police confirm 'much-loved family man' was SHOT DEAD and sprayed with ACID in quiet suburban street just yards from a HIGH SCHOOL

The victim has been named as Liam Smith, from the Kilburn Drive area of Wigan
The victim has been named as Liam Smith, from the Kilburn Drive area of Wigan

Liam Smith, 38, was found lying dead in a residential street in Wigan, Greater Manchester

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POLICE have confirmed that a man, whose death sparked a major health alert in Wigan, was shot and sprayed with acid.

Emergency services were called to the discovery of a body in the street in the Kilburn Drive area of the town on Thursday evening.

They immediately threw up a wide cordon around the scene - which is just a few hundred yards from Shevington High School - after discovering what they described as a hazardous substance on the man's body, and urged local residents feeling unwell to contact health authorities.

The victim has now been named as Liam Smith, 38, who lived in the local area.

The Kilburn Drive area of Wigan is close to the M6 motorway
The Kilburn Drive area of Wigan is close to the M6 motorway

Police confirmed his death is now being treated as murder and a cordon is still in place in the street where Mr Smith's body was found.

Greater Manchester police said initial investigations indicate the victim was shot and was also subjected to an acid attack.

Following detailed bio-chemical tests, the substance is not believed to pose any wider risk to the public.

Police say it is vital that members of the public do not approach anyone they suspect of having been involved in the incident.

Detective Chief Inspector Gina Brennand from the Major Incident Team at Greater Manchester Police said: "This is a shocking murder of a much-loved family man.

"I have a team of detectives working around the clock and I urge anyone who has seen anything unusual or out of the ordinary near to the victim's home during the day and early evening of Thursday 24 November to contact the major incident room."

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Stephen Watson
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Stephen Watson

She added: "This is the first fatal shooting in Manchester for over two years and we are determined to find the weapon and find Liam's killer."

The victim's family said in a brief statement: “Liam was kind-hearted, funny, the life and soul of the party. He was the most devoted dad, much loved son, brother, grandson and uncle. He will sorely be missed by all who knew and loved him.”

Police said that specialist officers would continue to wear protective clothing as they work in and around the crime scene and they urge the public not to be alarmed.

It comes as the Chief Constable of the force, Stephen Watson, said his police officers need to buckle down and solve real crimes, rather than virtue signalling to local communities.