Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

VICTIMS OF A CRAZED KILLER ARMED WITH GUNS AND GRENADES ; Pub Shooting Starts Terrible Cycle of Violence Murder of Female PCs Shocked the Nation

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

VICTIMS OF A CRAZED KILLER ARMED WITH GUNS AND GRENADES ; Pub Shooting Starts Terrible Cycle of Violence Murder of Female PCs Shocked the Nation

Article excerpt

KILLER Dale Cregan's assassination of Mark Short at the Cotton Tree took just 24 seconds.

CCTV captured the moment the car with Cregan and three others pulled up outside the Droylsden pub, with its hazard lights flashing.

With a balaclava over his head, Cregan walked into the pub on May 25 last year and scanned for his victim David Short. But he was in the toilet. He fired seven shots, blasting Short's son Mark in the chest and shooting three other members of the family, John Collins, Ryan Pridding and Michael Belcher.

David Short came back from the toilet and found a scene of devastation. He sobbed as his son died in his arms.

Just moments earlier, the Short family had been enjoying their night, playing pool and darts. Witnesses described how the gunman appeared to be carefully choosing his targets before shooting them.

Cregan would later express two regrets when he was interviewed by a psychologist and a psychiatrist at Strangeways prison - that he had not been able to get hold of a hand grenade that day and that his real target, David Short, had evaded him.

'I had to sit and see my The police would receive intelligence that David Short had vowed to take revenge on Cregan, the trial has heard. sob like a because he his son But his partner of 28 years Michelle Kelly, the mother of Mark, told the court David Short had promised to leave the matter to the police.

"Mark had never done nothing wrong," she told the jury. "He was playing a game of pool and he got shot.... At the end of the day my son was brutally murdered. I had to sit there there husband baby had seen murdered' and see my husband sob like a baby because he had seen his son murdered."

David Short became a regular at Droylsden cemetery, visiting his son's graveside three times each day.

Cregan found out and vowed to kill him there.

Cregan and his fellow killer Anthony Wilkinson, who has pleaded guilty to murdering David Short, staked out the cemetery on August 10 last year, but David Short never turned up. …

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