Police search Hertfordshire traveller sites as hunt for armed gunman goes on

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Police are searching traveller sites in Hertfordshire for a suspected armed gunman who is wanted for attempted murder.

Francis O’Donoghue has been urged to hand himself in following the shooting on a travellers site off Goatswood Lane in Navestock, west Essex at 3.30pm on Tuesday, August 27.

Two men suffered gunshot wounds to the legs and chest and are recovering in hospital under armed police guard.

A search of the site was completed on Wednesday, August 28, with scenes of crime officers and ballistic experts recovering cartridge casings and other possible evidence.

As well as continuing with their inquiries in Essex, detectives are also focusing their attention on traveller sites across Hertfordshire where it is thought the 27-year-old glazier may be hiding with friends or relatives.

Essex Police’s supt Trevor Roe said: “We have taken several witness statements which all suggest that Mr O’Donoghue was at the site at the time of the shooting and so our focus is now primarily on finding him.

“This attack was the culmination of an on-going neighbour feud which began outside a shop in Harold Wood earlier that Tuesday afternoon.

“We are working with all UK police forces, and especially the Metropolitan Police and Hertfordshire, to ensure they keep a look out for Francis.

“Again, we would urge anyone who knows him to avoid him purely because he is in possession of a handgun and those who come into contact with him should call us immediately.

“There is nothing though to suggest that people in the wider community are at risk of being injured.”

The victims and their relatives in hospital are continuing to be supported by police as the investigation and hunt for Mr O’Donoghue goes on.

Mr O’Donoghue is described as white, approximately 5ft 11ins tall, of medium build, with short-brown hair, protruding ears and an Irish accent.

Anyone with information on the shooting should contact detectives at Harlow’s Major Investigation Team on 101, email them on SCDappeals@essex.pnn.police.uk or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. Anyone who knows of Mr O’Donoghue’s whereabouts is urged to call 999.

Click here to see a picture of Mr O’Donoghue.