Man held over Devizes solicitor shooting

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Media captionSupt Gavin Williams, from Wiltshire Police, said the victim sustained life-threatening injuries

A man is being questioned by police after a solicitor was shot in the head in his office in Wiltshire.

Police were called to Morris Goddard & Ward Solicitors in St John's Street, Devizes, at 14:55 BST on Monday.

A man had entered the property with a sawn off shotgun and, after an altercation, fired at solicitor James Ward.

The 58-year-old, from Westbury, was airlifted to Bristol's Frenchay Hospital.

Police said Mr Ward, a father-of-three who is known as Jim, remained in hospital in a "very serious condition" and his family were with him.

A 62-year-old man was arrested about 40 minutes after the incident in nearby Rowde and is being questioned at Melksham Police Station.

Image caption James Ward remains in a very serious condition at Bristol's Frenchay Hospital

Detectives have been granted a further 12 hours to question the suspect and this is due to expire at 04:20 BST on Wednesday.

'Difficult time'

Police said Mr Ward and the alleged attacker knew each other, but it was not currently known how.

Detectives said they did not believe the attack was random and they were not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident.

St John's Street has reopened to traffic, apart from large lorries, and a cordon remains in place at the scene.

The weapon that police believe was used has been recovered.

Det Ch Insp Ian Saunders, who is leading the investigation, said: "My team have continued working overnight and today officers will be carrying out further checks of CCTV, house-to-house inquiries and forensic examination of the scene.

Image caption A police cordon remains in place at the solicitor's office

"I would like to appeal for anyone who was in the area of St John's Street, Devizes around 3:00 pm yesterday afternoon to make contact with police as they may have important information to assist the investigation."

Insp Ron Peach added: "I would like to stress how very rare incidents such as this are in Devizes, and across the county however we recognise that the community will be concerned and will experience some disruption as officers conduct inquiries.

"The road closures have been now been lifted and we would like to thank residents for their understanding and co-operation.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim at this difficult time."

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