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DETECTIVES probing the shooting of a man found dead at his County Durham home on Saturday contacted their colleagues in Northumbria hunting wanted gunman Raoul Moat.

But they said last night that there did not appear to be any links between the murder of Fred Shipley, 59, and the shootings in Birtley, Gateshead, and East Denton, Newcastle.

Mr Shipley was found dead at his home in Paradise Crescent, Easington, on Saturday. He had injuries believed to have been caused by a firearm. A post-mortem examination was being carried out last night.

Superintendent Rob Coulson, of Durham Constabulary, said yesterday: "We are investigating what might have motivated this attack on a vulnerable middle-aged man.

"We're now trying to build up a picture of his last known movements. We need to trace any regular visitors to the house and find out if any of them had called recently.

"We particularly want to speak to anyone who may have visited Mr Shipley or seen visitors to his home within the last week."

Mr Shipley, a single man who lived alone, was known to have spent last Friday evening, July 2, with a neighbour, watching the World Cup quarter final between Uruguay and Ghana. Other neighbours reported hearing a loud bang between midnight and 2am but no alarm was raised.

A relative called police when he found Mr Shipley lying dead in his kitchen at around 5.45pm on Saturday. The house was cordoned off. A homicide investigation team has been set up at Peterlee police station, headed by Det Supt Ken Donnelly. House-to-house inquiries are being carried out in the vicinity of Paradise Crescent.

Supt Coulson added: "I must reassure Easington residents that we are doing everything possible to find the person responsible for this. Crimes like this are not typical of this area.

"Detectives have liaised with colleagues in Northumbria investigating the shooting of two people in Birtley on Saturday. At this stage there does not appear to be any apparent links between the incidents."

Anyone with information should contact Durham Constabulary on 0345 606 0365 and ask for the Incident Room at Peterlee Police Station or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 6, 2010
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