Well-wishes have been flooding in after Wednesday’s shooting in Enham.
Officers were called to Mac Callum Road after reports of an assault on a man. Shortly after a 34-year old man died while being pursued by police by motorbike.
The victim of the shooting has been named as local author and artist James Nash who is also a local parish councillor.
National newspaper reports today say that Mr Nash was shot by 34-year Alex Sartain who lived nearby. They claim that Mr Sartain used a “homemade shotgun”.
Mr Nash remains in a critical condition at Southampton General Hospital with serious injuries after being shot in the head.
The local children’s writer and illustrator is well-known locally. “Such a nice person” says Angela Wybrow on social media. Kaz Trinder also commented, “Can not understand why someone would do this to anyone let alone such a gentle man as James”.
A police investigation has been launched and anyone who may offer some information on the reasons for the shooting are asked to call Police on 101, quoting Operation Plaque.
The Times newspaper this morning reports that the incident on Wednesday was “an assassination attempt”.
Mr Sartain crashed his motorbike on the A343 near Hurstbourne Tarrant while being pursued by police. He was declared dead at the scene. Police have reported this incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), a mandatory move after anyone dies in custody or while police are in pursuit.
The Air Ambulance and NPAS (National Police Air Support) were seen to assist in the incident.
Hampshire Constabulary say they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting.
Officers also attended an address in Enham Alamein as part of the investigation.
A 40-year-old woman thought to be Mr Nash’s wife Dr Sarah Nash was also assaulted during the attack and sustained minor injuries.
It is understood that Mr Nash was in the front garden on his property on Mac Callum Road on Wednesday afternoon as police and South Central Ambulance Service attended a report of an assault. A forensics search was undertaken by police.
Later on Wednesday afternoon, around 4:40pm, emergency services attended a motorcycle collision on the A343, the rider of what is thought to be a Yamaha R1 motorcycle was pronounced dead at the scene.
It is now know that the rider was 34-year old Mr Sartain. Police say they are not seeking anyone else in connection with the attack on Mr Nash.
As many news outlets print that Mr Sartain was ‘troubled’, local social media users are divided on Mr Sartain, some claim “karma”, whereas others like Emma Hale say, “Remember that there are family and friends of Alex’s who will have seen all this VILE comments” and “I know how much of a big heart he had”.
Regardless, this is a sad time for all involved.
A source close to Mr Nash told us, “It’s not looking good”. James Nash is the author and ilustrator of ‘The Winter Wild’ series of books. James is known to the team at Love Andover and we wish him a speedy recovery, while we also send condolences to family and friends of Mr Sartain.
Leader of Test Valley Borough Council Phil North who refers to the shooting as a “horrible incident” says, “I know this will be a worrying time for the community and until Police complete their investigations we won’t get a full understanding of the situation.”
Cllr North is encouraging anyone with information to contact the Police.
If you can help police with information on the attack on Mr Nash, please call Police on 101 quoting Operation Plaque.
If you can assist with information about Mr Sartain’s motorcycle crash please call police on 101, quoting Operation Crystal.