Essex

Chelmsford shooting: Victim in 'chance meeting' with killer

John Pordage Image copyright Essex Police

A man was shot outside a petrol station after a "chance meeting" with the suspect escalated into violence, police have said.

John Pordage, 34, died after being shot in the chest in Chelmsford, Essex, in the early hours of Saturday.

The electrician had been with a 25-year-old friend when they met a man they knew and "exchanged words".

Paying tribute, Mr Pordage's mother Sue Wilson said her son was known for his "big personality and friendly nature".

Detectives originally believed Mr Pordage was shot by someone in a blue Ford Fiesta outside the BP garage in Baddow Road, but senior investigating officer Det Ch Insp Stephen Jennings said the suspect was not in a vehicle at the time of the shooting.

He fled the scene in the car before police arrived and the victim, who came from Galleywood, died in hospital.

The Fiesta has now been found and a number of addresses searched.

Image copyright Alamy
Image caption Police could be seen carrying out a forensic examination of the scene on Saturday

Mr Pordage's mother Ms Wilson said her son was "fun-loving and wore his heart on his sleeve".

"He was known for his big personality and friendly nature. He was a cheeky chap and had so much to look forward to," she added.

"John loved working out at the gym and was into healthy eating. He was also an accomplished artist who loved creativity and design.

"We are going to miss him so very much. Words cannot describe the pain I am going through right now."

Josh Grimble, 23, a friend and former colleague of Mr Pordage, said the keen bodybuilder, who worked for a fire alarm company, was "really well-known and popular" in Chelmsford.

More friends have also paid tribute online, describing him as a "big friendly giant" and one of the "nicest men".

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Police officers have been searching the area, with sniffer dogs also used at the scene

A post-mortem examination found the victim died as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Mr Jennings, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "We believe this was a chance meeting involving people known to each other.

"There was an exchange of words, which escalated into a violent disturbance during which Mr Pordage was shot."

Essex Police have warned anyone with mobile phone or dashcam video not to publish any "harrowing" footage online, but send it to them instead.

The road outside the petrol station remains closed while forensic officers continue their investigation.

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