Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Eight held over post office death

Craig Hodson-Walker and Lisa Bundy
Craig Hodson-Walker had got engaged to Lisa Bundy at Christmas

Eight people have been arrested in connection with the murder of a man during an armed robbery at a village post office.

Craig Hodson-Walker, 29, was shot in the chest and his father Ken, 56, was shot in the leg during the raid in Fairfield, Worcestershire, on Friday.

Five men and three women have been arrested in raids in Birmingham.

Four were arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder and four on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Ken Hodson-Walker, who is the manager of Fairfield Post Office and Store, remains in a stable condition in hospital after surgery.

More than 100 officers have been involved in the investigation, following the killing of Mr Hodson-Walker on Friday.

Elmay Road, Sheldon, Birmingham
There were a lot of police and a hell of a lot of guns
Neighbour in Elmay Road, Sheldon

Three men wearing balaclavas had walked into Fairfield General Stores, in Stourbridge Road, armed with a handgun and a sledgehammer.

Mr Hodson-Walker, who got engaged to his girlfriend Lisa Bundy at Christmas, was shot during the struggle.

The men's getaway car - a silver Volkswagen Golf - was later found abandoned nearby in Bournheath Road.

The arrests followed early morning raids at six addresses in south Birmingham.

People living in Elmay Road, in the Sheldon area of Birmingham, said police forced their way into a semi-detached house shortly after 0400 GMT and arrested a man in his 30s.

One man, who did not want to be named, said: "I was asleep but my son woke me up just after 4am.

Superintendent Adrian Pass with West Mercia Police statement on arrests

"He had heard the police shouting and banging down the door and saw them bring out a man and put him in the police van in handcuffs.

"There were a lot of police and a hell of a lot of guns."

He said a woman was also led from the house and driven away in one of four unmarked Land Rovers.

The house has been sealed off and a West Mercia Police forensic investigation van was parked outside earlier.

Supt Adrian Pass, of West Mercia Police, said high-visibility patrols would be carried out in the area to reassure residents.

A spokesman said the inquiry was still in its early stages and urged anyone with information to contact the force or anonymously via Crimestoppers.

A reward of 50,000 has been offered by the Post Office.



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