DETECTIVES are working around the clock to recover a gun used in a targeted shooting outside a newsagents.

The gunman is on the run following the armed attack in York Road, Southend, and the gun could still be in the hands of criminals not afraid to use it.

Families and shopworkers in the area have urged witnesses to come forward to help.

The shooting took place outside York Superstore, which could not be reached for comment.

Kursaal ward Labour councillor, Matt Dent, moved to assure residents.

He said: “The idea that there is still someone loose in the general public with a firearm is a worry, but thankfully the use of firearms in this area is incredibly rare.

“Although there hasn’t been any arrests made, I know the police are hard at work at it and anyone who has any information should contact the police.

“I can assure everyone it is being taken very seriously - I’m the first to say that police cuts have gone too far but we are lucky in this time to have some of the most professional and dedicated officers on any force.”

A chef at Wings, the Chinese take-away next door, said: “It’s worrying to know that someone was shot.

“Nobody saw what happened until the police came.

“There is always something going on.”

Carrie-Ann Wilcox, 26, from York Road, said: “The whole street has CCTV and around the nearby areas, and I would’ve thought there would have been witnesses.

“The person who did it needs to be caught, it’s the last thing this town needs and in the run up to Christmas as well it’s quite worrying.

“Some of us just want a peaceful life without stuff kicking off outside your window every five minutes.”

The shooting took place at about 9.20pm on 9.20pm on Tuesday, November 26.

A few hours later a man arrived at Southend Hospital with a gunshot wound to his arm.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “The incident is being treated as targeted.

“Since the incident detectives have been working around the clock to establish the identity of the suspect or suspects involved in the incident.

“They have been conducting various enquiries, including examining CCTV and exploring forensic evidence.

“We remain committed to investigating this incident and bringing those involved to justice.” Call police on 101.