A MAN was shot in the back and the legs in Whiston last night, say police.

Police received reports of gunshots being heard in Lyneham at around 8.30pm on Sunday.

Armed police were sent to the scene and evidence was found of a firearm having been discharged.

Shortly afterwards, a man in his 30s attended hospital with non life-threatening wounds to his back and legs, believed to have been caused by a shotgun.

Officers are in the area to speak to local residents, and carry out house-to-house, forensic and CCTV enquiries.

Neighbours told the Star of their shock this morning after news of the shooting emerged.

Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Detective Inspector Matt Smith said: “These are the very early stages of our investigation as we seek to find out the exact circumstances, so we are initially looking to speak to anyone who saw or heard anything around 8.30pm last night in the Lyneham area.

"You can get in touch directly or anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers, but however you get the information to us, get it to us.

"Our communities are at the heart of our tackling any issues in your area, so help us make that difference.

“I want to also appeal to anyone who saw vehicles being driven at speed close to the location of the shooting around the time, or may have captured anything on dashcams or home CCTV.

“To fire any weapon in the street at any time is incredibly reckless and we will act on all information from the community to establish what has happened, find those responsible and remove them from the community.”

Residents, who asked not be named, have been speaking of their shock.

One neighbour told the Star: “It’s just awful really.

“You hear about these things in other places but you don’t expect it to happen on your own doorstep.

“I had gone to the shop there a few minutes before it happened so it’s quite frightening really.

“My son called me from St Helens to see if I was OK - that was the first I heard of it. It’s not usually bad around here at all.”

Meanwhile, a dad-of-two, added: “I was really shocked when I heard about it.

“We get a lot of bikes going up and down the road but we don’t get nothing like this.

“It concerns me as a dad because it just shows you that nobody is safe not even on their own street.”

An elderly resident said: “It’s appalling really, how can people think that you can just shoot someone? 

“How is that something that people even think about doing?

“It makes you worry about people, especially young people, today.”

Another said: “It just goes to show how dangerous it can be. 

“I was working at the time but from what I’ve heard it really could just be anyone who has being hurt. 

“How are parents supposed to feel OK about the kids going out when things like this happen?”

The shooting comes less than a week after a man was gunned down in Haydock. He has been left with serious leg injuries.

Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact the gun crime hotline on 0800 230 0600, @MerPolCC, or @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111