TWO more people have been arrested after a Tyneside shooting which police believe is linked to organised crime.
Detectives were called to the car park of the Six Mile Inn pub at Seaton Burn, North Tyneside, at around 4.15pm on Friday where a 54-year-old man had been shot in the back as he got out of his car.
Witnesses said two gunmen fled the scene in a white van. Detectives say two shots were fired, but that the weapon has not yet been recovered. The 54-year-old is recuperating in hospital and police are mounting extra patrols to reassure the public.
Six people – a woman aged 25, and five men aged 21, 22, 23, 47 and 52 – were arrested in connection with the incident, three after a swoop on homes in Wallsend on Saturday, but all were later released on bail pending further inquiries.
Now, a further two men, aged 34 and 47, have been arrested and are being questioned by police.
And officers say they expect to make more arrests.
The victim is now in a stable condition and is helping police with their investigation.
Detectives believe the shooting to be an internal dispute between criminals in the area, but have mounted extra patrols to reassure the public.
Assistant Chief Constable Jim Campbell told a press conference at the weekend that police believed “this is a dispute between criminals”.
“The investigation is within Newcastle and North Tyneside, all north of the river,” he added. “We’re not ruling out that this could be something simmering for some time or linked to another incident in the past.
“We’re trying to gather as much information as possible and hopefully recover the firearm.”
It is the second shooting outside a Tyneside pub in less than a month.
On December 14, Colin Ferry was shot in the arm and leg in the car park outside the Wheatsheaf pub on Whitley Road, in Benton, North Tyneside. The 47-year old, who wrote Cannabis Man, a book advocating the joys of the drug, staggered into the pub and was taken to hospital.
The shooting also comes less than a week after staff at a nearby Ladbrokes betting shop were threatened with an imitation gun during a robbery.