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Monday, December 22, 1997 Published at 15:29 GMT


Police step up hunt for pub gunman
image: [ Police said the shooting took place when the pub was busy. ]
Police said the shooting took place when the pub was busy.

Detectives hunting a gunman who shot dead a drinker in a busy pub and seriously injured his friend say the killer is clearly very dangerous.

The dead man was named as Sean O'Toole, 34, from Birmingham, who died almost instantly after being shot at point blank range in PJ's Moon and Sixpence pub in the city on Sunday lunchtime.

His friend, who is in a serious condition in hospital with a bullet lodged in his torso, was named as Philip O'Brien, 32, from the Yardley area of Birmingham.

Detective Superintendent Malcolm Ross said Mr O'Brien was under police guard.

He said no motive had been established for the shooting but the gunman and his victims were seen arguing in the pub shortly before the incident.

Det Supt Ross said: "They were talking, raised voices were heard, swearing was heard. We do not know what the conversation was about.

"The black man drew from his pocket a handgun and fired it into the two other men. The black man then walked out."

He said staff and members of the public who were in the pub, close to the city's Chinese quarter, at the time of the shooting were extremely distressed.

Det Supt Ross asked the public to contact police if they had any information about the gunman but warned: "The man is dangerous."

He admitted the victims were "known to police" but did not go into details.

The gunman was described by police as black, six feet two inches tall, well built with short hair and a goatee beard.

He was in his mid-20s and wearing a green baseball cap and three-quarter length jacket.

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