Tribute to man who died of gunshot wounds

Michael Blake
Michael Blake
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The family of a man who died after being shot in Westhoughton has paid tribute to him.

Shortly before 11.10pm on Thursday November 3, police were called to Manchester Road, Westhoughton, to what was initially reported as a failure to stop collision.

Officers attended and found 28-year-old Michael Blake with a gunshot wound to his leg and a gunshot wound to the back of his head.

He was taken to hospital in a life threatening condition but sadly died shortly after 10am the next day.

Michael’s grieving family were initially too distressed to speak to the media but have now released an emotional tribute to the dad-of-one.

The tribute said; “Michael was a wonderful son, brother, friend and father, who would do anything for anyone. He was always happy and smiling, and hardly ever gave his mother any reason to worry.

“He was always hard working and trying to better himself. He enjoyed keeping himself fit, socialising, being with his friends and enjoying life.

“He had recently bought a new home with his girlfriend and was looking forward to doing his home up and settling down for family life.

“Michael leaves behind his brothers, his mother, partner and young daughter. He will be sadly missed by all.

“We are all devastated by the way Michael has been cruelly taken from us and would like to appeal for anyone with any information to come forward and speak to the police.”

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is urging anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

Detective Superintendent Jon Chadwick, Head of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: “We don’t know why Michael was killed and we are still in the early stages of our investigation. So we really need the public’s help.

“Witnesses have described seeing Michael get into a light coloured van shortly before he was shot, so we are now searching for the van and would like to speak to anyone who may have seen it in the area around the time Michael was shot.

“Manchester Road is always busy and there will have been people around at that time so if you were in the area between 10.30pm and 11.30pm please have a think, you might have seen something that could really help us find Michael’s killer.

“Michael’s family are obviously devastated by his death and I’m determined to get them the answers they deserve. My thoughts are with them at this tragic time.”

Anybody with information should contact police on 101, quoting incident number 2426 of 03/11/16, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.