POLICE hunting a man in connection with a shooting which was “a clear attempt to kill” the victim believe he may have been working for the same gang that set off a grenade in a car.

On Friday, July 12, 2019, a 28-year-old man was shot several times after leaving Outline Gym in Great Lever.

And only 11 days later on July 23, 2019, an explosion ripped through the inside of a BMW on Castle Street in Haulgh after Londoner Tom Omona smashed a window and hurled an improvised grenade inside.

Last month Omona, Darren Holland, of Grange Farm Close, Harrow, and Luqman Hamid, of Yorkshire Street, Rochdale, were sentenced at Bolton Crown Court to a combined total of more than 26 years' imprisonment in connection with the bombing.

Following the sentencing officers launched an appeal to find the hitman responsible for the shooting outside the St Marks Street gym.

An e-fit picture of the suspect was published along with two images of a stolen red Vauxhall Mokka, travelling on Moor Lane and Bury New Road in Bolton, which was seen in the area at the time of the shooting. Its registration plate was DW68 GDY.

Detectives have not found the culprit or located the vehicle but they think both incidents were carried out by the same gang against a rival faction.

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Clitherow said: “We think the same people are behind both incidents. We believe it is part of a dispute but we do not know what it is about.

“It remains a live investigation. Somebody somewhere knows who that person in the e-fit is.”

DCI Clitherow is also considering whether the suspect is from further afield.

He added: “Bolton is quite a tight-knit community and although we cannot rule out that the person is local we have exhausted this search. They recruited someone from London for one job so they could have done it again.”

Police have also been in touch with the gym as they try to understand why the victim was targeted.

If you have any information it can be uploaded online through the dedicated Major Incident Public Portal at https://mipp.police.uk.

Residents can also contact officers on 0161 856 4711. Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.