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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 September 2006, 01:17 GMT 02:17 UK
Boy 'executed' in city shooting
Jessie James
Schoolboy Jessie James was studying for his GCSEs
A 15-year-old boy who was shot dead in Manchester may have been killed in a planned execution, according to Greater Manchester Police.

Jessie James was gunned down in the early hours of Saturday close to a public park in Moss Side.

Supt John O'Hare said: "It is still early days. We do not know of any motive yet, but we believe this was a planned attack."

But Jessie's friends say he was an innocent victim in the wrong place.

They said he had simply been cycling to a party.

It is the second fatal shooting in Moss Side in less than three months.

I want the people who pulled the trigger to realise what the family are going through
Supt John O'Hare

Jessie, who lived in Greame Street, Moss Side, attended the nearby Manchester Academy High School.

Kathy August, the academy's principal, issued a statement saying: "On behalf of Manchester Academy I would like to express my deepest sadness at the tragic loss of one our boys.

"Jessie had been one of our students for the past three years. He was a very likeable boy who was trying hard to succeed in his GCSEs."

Detectives are now waiting for the results of forensic tests and the post-mortem examination to establish how many shots were fired and what type of weapon was used.

In the meantime, they are appealing for help from the public to find Jessie's killers, who struck at around 0230 BST.

"If there are people that can stop this and have the power to stop it, I'm asking them to examine their consciences, think about the family, think about the community, and have the strength to put a stop to it," said Supt O'Hare.

"I want the people who pulled the trigger to realise what the family are going through."

Scene of the shooting in Raby Street
The area has been sealed off while forensic experts investigate

Police patrols are being stepped up in the area and a murder inquiry has been opened.

The Raby Street area has been sealed off for investigators to carry out a detailed search around the crime scene.

The killing comes less than three months after 45-year-old Ernest Gifford was gunned down at his home on the street while his partner and her children were in the property.

And last month, three men were shot and wounded in two separate incidents in Moss Side.

Concern is now mounting among locals the area could once again be a centre of gun violence.

Pastor Michael Simpson from the Manchester Central Seventh Day Adventist Church - where Jessie's family worship - said the teenager was "always polite" and "always kind".

And, expressing concern for the safety of other youngsters living in the area, he added: "I hope that the police are able to do their job and to come up with some answers, not just for the parents, but for the community as well.

"We need to know in the community what's going on, why this is happening and where the guns are coming from."

Details of the murder investigation

Moss Side shooting was deliberate
22 Aug 06 |  Manchester
Two men hurt in double shooting
06 Aug 06 |  Manchester
Girlfriend's plea over shooting
11 Jul 06 |  Manchester

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