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Last Updated: Monday, 11 September 2006, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
Police positive in shooting probe
Floral tribute to Jessie James
Tributes to Jessie have been left near the scene of his shooting
Detectives investigating the death of a 15-year-old boy who was gunned down in Manchester say they are pursuing some "fruitful" lines of inquiry.

The attack on Jessie James in the Moss Side area of the city is thought to have been a case of mistaken identity.

A post-mortem examination showed he was killed by three bullets - two to his torso and one to his appendix.

Jessie's mother Barbara Reid described her son as a bubbly boy and appealed for help from the community.

Det Supt Tony Cook, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "There's no shred of evidence to suggest he was a member of any gang."

Det Supt Cook said the teenager was killed with a semi-automatic pistol in a park on Raby Street in the early hours of Saturday.

The police were keeping an open mind over the motive for the shooting, he said.

Jessie James
Schoolboy Jessie James was studying for his GCSEs

"The most likely explanation is that Jessie was in the wrong place at the wrong time," he added.

"It probably was mistaken identity."

The detective also said: "We are in the process of pursuing fruitful lines of enquiry and our objective is to work with the family and the community to find those responsible for this murder."

Jessie's mother said: "Everyone loved Jessie and it doesn't make sense that he's been killed.

"He was everyone's friend and didn't care about people's background, colour, religion or anything - he was a just an open-minded, friendly person who loved being around others. He mixed with everyone."

Family appeal

Ms Reid said her son used to attend church with her, and remembered what he had learnt from the Bible.

In a joint statement, the family appealed to the community to help catch the killers.

"If you know what happened or know who's responsible, then please don't shield them," they said.

Scene of the shooting in Raby Street

"How would you feel if this was your son or your brother? How would you feel if you were hearing reports your relative had been murdered?"

Michael Simpson, the pastor at Mrs Reid's church, said: "The community is genuinely bewildered."

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

His killing on Raby Street comes less than three months after 45-year-old Ernest Gifford was shot at home on Raby Street.

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

Concern is now mounting among local people that the area could once again be a centre of gun violence and police have stepped up patrols to reassure residents.

Killing surprises few in Moss Side
11 Sep 06 |  Manchester
Extra police after teenager shot
10 Sep 06 |  Manchester
Boy 'executed' in city shooting
10 Sep 06 |  Manchester
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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