A GUNMAN started a 'wild west' shoot-out when he blasted the home of a man who has since been allegedly murdered.

Leon Parkinson targeted convicted drug dealer Carl Eland's home with the improvised 20-bore shotgun before being chased down the street by his intended victim – who had armed himself with an air pistol.

A weapon charge against Eland, who police believe was murdered in a deliberate hit and run, has been formally dropped following his death.

Two men have subsequently been charged with murder.

The violence flared just after 9pm on June 2 when Parkinson arrived at the Middlesbrough address on the back of a motorbike before firing at the front door of the terraced property in North Ormesby.

The Northern Echo: Leon ParkinsonLeon Parkinson

The 20-year-old was then captured picking up the shotgun cartridges fired from the homemade ‘slam-gun’ before getting back on the motorbike and riding away.

Moments later Eland can be seen coming out of his Maria Street home armed with a lump of wood and an air pistol.

Judge Jonathan Carroll banded Parkinson a danger to the public as he sentenced him to eight years and four months for the shooting.

"You went down the street to the address where Carl Eland lived at – this was clearly a planned attack – you knew what you were about and you were armed for it," he said.

"This is a clear example of how this behaviour rapidly accelerates into much more serious behaviour – you firing your homemade shotgun at him and him coming out with a handgun, not discharged as far as I am aware.

"This could have resulted in death, not just to you and him, but anyone in the street."

The Northern Echo: The slam-gun used by Leon ParkinsonThe slam-gun used by Leon Parkinson

He added: "Suddenly it became like the wild west with you and eland taking pot shots at each other with firearms.

"It is extremely obvious how dangerous that is and there but for the grace of god did nobody suffer death or very serious injury."

Michele Turner, in mitigation, told Teesside Crown Court that her client understands the dangerousness of the situation he was involved in and the possible implications of his actions.

She said Parkinson, of Outram Street, Middlesbrough, had targeted Mr Eland after there had been previous 'troubles' between the pair.

The Northern Echo: Carl ElandCarl Eland

Mr Eland had been facing prison over the possession of a firearm when prohibited for life and possession of cannabis.

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Superintendent Helen Barker said: “I am pleased with the sentence handed to Parkinson today and believe it reflects the potentially very serious consequences of discharging a firearm in the street.

“Parkinson, who is 20 years old, will now spend the next eight years in jail and this sends a clear message to anyone involved with illegal firearms.  The sentence should also reassure the public that police will pursue these individuals relentlessly.”

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