Newport shooting: Darren Williams shot estranged wife

Gwent Police said the man who injured three women in a shooting at a hairdresser's in Newport, south Wales, was targeting his estranged wife.

Darren Williams, from Cwmbran, used a double-barrelled shotgun in the attack at Carol-Ann's hair stylist in Malpas Road, Newport, on Friday afternoon.

His estranged wife was shot in the knee while two salon clients suffered minor injuries from rebounds from the shots.

Mr Williams' body was found in woods about six hours later.

Police are now looking at CCTV to piece together events before the shooting which happened at about 14:20 BST on Friday.

In a statement, Mr Williams' family said they were devastated by what had happened.

"Darren has suffered for the last few weeks due to the traumatic break-up of his marriage and desperately needed professional medical attention," they said.

Known to police

A hunt for the gunman and his grey Mini Cooper was launched immediately after the shooting.

Mr Williams' body was eventually found at Brynglas woods - behind Brynglas primary school in the city - at 20:15 BST after a member of the public spotted the car about an hour earlier by a canalside about a mile away.

Supt Dave Johnson, Gwent Police commander for Newport, said the gunman fired from both barrels in the attack.

He confirmed that he had been known to the police but would not confirm whether a restraining order was in place, or if he had been arrested previously.

Mr Williams did not have a shotgun licence, but was known to have a passion for hunting and outdoor pursuits, Mr Johnson said.

He said police want information on how he got hold of the shotgun used in the attack.

Speaking outside the salon, he said: "What we do believe is that the intended target for Mr Williams yesterday was his estranged wife - she is the injured party.

"We are quite comfortable that no-one else in the shop was actually being focused on by Mr Williams so that is the centre of our inquiries today, to try to understand the nature of their relationship and what actually led to the sequence of events that led up to the tragic incident of yesterday afternoon."

He added that Mr Williams had been finding the situation with his wife "difficult".

Police have said they are not treating the death as suspicious or looking for anyone in connection with it.

'Shocked and upset'

Family liaison officers from Gwent Police are supporting relatives of those involved.

Earlier, Supt Johnson paid tribute to armed response officers, who, aided by the force helicopter, searched for Mr Williams for more than five hours.

A section of Malpas Road near the salon was cordoned off overnight but reopened on Saturday morning.

A white tent was put up around the hair salon while a forensic science team carried out an investigation, with two police officers standing guard.

Anwar Ul Haq, 60, who lives above and works at Malpas Convenience Store, two doors from Carol-Ann's Salon, said he heard about three shots and a woman in her 50s ran into his shop asking for help.


"Yesterday near about 2.20 we hear the noise of shooting. A woman came out shouting 'help, help'... she went to another shop and asked for help, in the meantime the police vans came," he said.

"That woman was frightened, scared, she was when she came out.

Image caption Forensic teams carried out a painstaking examination of the scene.

"The police said to go inside and close the doors. We didn't go outside then as the police blocked the road and after four o'clock the police said to us close the shops and so we closed the shop."

Labour councillor Paul Cockeram, who represents the Shaftsbury ward where the incident happened, said he was shocked.

"The shop is obliterated apparently. It's amazing nobody died.

Antisocial behaviour

"The salon is predominantly a more senior sort of hairdresser's salon. There would have been a lot of elderly people in there, I would have thought. They would have been extremely frightened."

The Gwent force have appealed for anyone with information about the incident, and in particular about the shotgun, to contact them on 101 or via Crimestoppers.

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