A TODDLER was sleeping next to his dad who was shot dead in his bed, horrified neighbours said today.
The boy, believed to be aged about three, was seen covered in blood shortly after the shooting.
Shocked neighbours told how they saw the child in the arms of murder victim Lee Gray’s partner in the garden of their South Yorkshire home.
Mr Gray, aged 32, died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Two men have been arrested in connection with the shooting at the semi-detached home on Greenswood Avenue, Barnsley, in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Adam Wilkinson, aged 28, who lives close to the murder scene, told Continued from page one
The Star: “People are saying the bairn was in bed with his dad when he was shot. If that’s true that is awful. He could have been hit.”
Officers guarded the murder scene yesterday for the third consecutive day, as neighbours revealed Mr Gray was in a car crash hours before he was killed.
Mr Wilkinson said he heard a car wheel spinning on Saturday, around the time police believe Mr Gray was killed.
“We didn’t see or hear anything, other than a car wheel-spinning at about 4am, but we didn’t think anything of it at the time.
“We got up the next day and saw an ambulance and five cop cars outside, but the ambulance left without taking anyone.
“My partner then saw the woman who lives there come out covered in blood, and she had a little bairn of about three with her.
“They were a young couple and moved here about six months ago, if that.
“I am shocked this has happened, that gun crime has reached our street.”
A couple of miles away, on Derwent Road, Athersley, a house has been searched by detectives and is being kept under police guard.
Marie Caves, 31, who lives near the murder scene, said: “We know from what the police have said that he was shot in the head, but the other rumour everyone is talking about is a car crash the night before.
“The police have assured us there isn’t someone going shooting at random, that our kids are safe, but it is still worrying something like this can happen so close to home.”
Neighbour Brenda Holl-ing, aged 64, said: “It’s horrible that this happened just across the road. I didn’t know the couple because they hadn’t lived here long.”
A man aged 27 was arrested on suspicion of murder in the Broadway area of Barnsley at 1.45pm yesterday. A man in his early 30s, arrested on Monday, was being questioned last night.
n Anyone with information should call the South Yorkshire Police murder incident room on 01709 443 508.