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Shooting victim 'may have been kidnapped' - police
A MAN shot in the chest in a daylight attack may have been kidnapped in Whitefield, police have said.
Convicted drug dealer Neil Hazelwood, aged 28, of Elton Close on the Hillock Estate was found in a wooded area near Huddersfield just after 12.30pm on September 8 and was suffering from gunshot wounds.
He was taken to St James’s Hospital in Leeds and remains under armed guard.
Mr Hazelwood’s condition has improved in the last few days from ‘critical’ to ‘stable’ after he underwent a major operation.
Detectives now say they believe Mr Hazelwood could have been snatched off a Whitefield street three hours earlier and driven to Yorkshire in a black Ford Focus before being shot.
At 12.30pm on the day of the shooting, police received a call from Hazelwood’s loved ones as they were concerned for his welfare as he failed to return home.
Officers found him injured in Yorkshire a short time later.
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Crewe, of GMP’s major incident team, said: “Since this man was shot we have been working behind the scenes to establish the full circumstances of what happened.
“What we do know for sure is that he left his house at about 9.30am on Sunday morning and was driven away in a black Ford Focus.
“He was later found with a gunshot injury near Holmfirth just over three hours later.”
He added: “We now want to appeal to anyone who can help us build up a detailed picture of what happened between leaving the house and being found with a gunshot wound.
“We are particularly keen to identify anyone or any unfamiliar vehicles seen in the area of Stanway Road, Whitefield, (half a mile from Mr Hazelwood’s home) on that Sunday morning.
“A man has been seriously injured and is lucky to be alive.
“It is therefore imperative that we get to the bottom of what happened.”
With information, call police on 0161 856 1722 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
In September 2011, Mr Hazelwood was among five man convicted of conspiracy to smuggle cocaine worth millions of pounds into Plymouth.
He was jailed for two years — a sentence which expired six days before the shooting.
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