A sunny bank holiday was brought to a violent end in Ribbleton after a masked man leaped out of a car and fired a gun at two young men in broad daylight.
Families in Moor Nook have revealed what they witnessed after the attempted shooting on the Moor Nook estate yesterday afternoon (August 26).
Shortly after 5pm, with children playing in the street and families relaxing in sun-baked front yards, three piercing gunshots cracked the air.
Terrified parents scooped up children and ran for cover inside their homes as a masked man leaped out of a silver Ford Mondeo at the entrance to Boilton Wood, at the junction of Grizedale Crescent and Pope Lane.
Armed with a gun, the man fired three shots at two other men on the tree-lined footpath leading to a footbridge over the M6.
Terrified residents watched as the two targeted men, who appeared uninjured, fled on off-road motorbikes behind a row of houses on Grizedale Crescent, as the gunman climbed back into his car and gave chase.
A pensioner in Pope Lane told the Post he thought the loud bang was a car backfiring, until it was followed seconds later by two more ear-piercing shots.
The pensioner, aged 74, said: "I heard it alright. I was chatting to a neighbour at the gate when we heard the first bang.
"It startled us, and we stopped and looked down the street from where it came from. We thought it was a car backfiring, sounded just like that, but very loud.
"But before we could carry on talking, there were two more shots. Bang-bang. One after the other.
"Everywhere went quiet after that. And then you could hear a car screeching and taking off and motorbikes speeding away."
A woman in Grizedale Crescent said she returned home that evening to find her neighbour frantic after witnessing the shooting whilst painting her garden fence.
"She saw it all, she was right there painting her fence when a man in a mask got out of a silver Mondeo with a gun in his hand", said the 45-year-old.
"She said he just walked towards the stone bollards and aimed at a lad near the trees (pictured).
"He parked up right there (pointing to a kerb at the entrance to Boilton Wood, pictured) and he pointed his gun at the trees and began shooting.
"He fired three shots and then two lads on motorbikes took off behind the houses. The man in the mask then got back in his car and chased after them down Grizedale (Crescent).
"She said one of our neighbours who has a little girl had to get down on the ground and cover her to protect her. It doesn't bear thinking about what could have happened."
A neighbour in Grizedale Crescent said she heard the first 'bang' and thought there had been an accident on the nearby M6, behind her home.
"It was very loud, but I didn't think it could be a gun at first. It was just a lovely sunny day.
"I thought there had been a crash or something on the motorway, but then I heard two more go off and my dogs started going berserk.
"I looked outside and there seemed to be a lot of commotion and then everything was really quiet. Then the street was full of police. Absolutely loads of police.
"They had the dogs out and forensics. I think they found the bullets in the grass just near the trees there.
"We have problems with kids on motorbikes going behind the houses and onto Grange Park, so there's always something going on, but nothing like this.
"This is something else. You hear about these things on the news but you don't expect it to happen right outside your own house."
CSI completed a four-hour forensics examination of the scene at around 9pm last night and officers remain on high visibility patrol in Moor Nook today.
No injuries have been reported and police said there is no indication that anyone was injured at the scene.
A police spokesman said: "We were called at shortly after 5pm yesterday (Monday, August 26) to reports of the sound of shots being fired on Pope Lane in Preston.
"Officers attended and an investigation is in its early stages to identify those involved.
"There are no reports of any injuries.
"Enquiries are ongoing."
Anyone with information should call 101 quoting log number 1206 of Monday, August 26.
Alternatively independent charity Crimestoppers can be reached anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at http://socsi.in/B7hUO