POLICE were last night continuing the search for a firearm used to shoot a Southampton man.

The weapon, believed to be a handgun, has not yet been found by officers, who yesterday launched an attempted murder investigation following the shooting.

A manhunt is also under way for a second person who may have been involved in the incident.

Armed police were still searching the Vanguard Road area in Townhill Park last night and have cordoned off three blocks of flats between Vanguard Road, Witts Hill and Lytham Road.

A heavy police presence remained there last night, as forensic experts and officers from Hampshire’s major investigation team stepped up their inquiries.

A police spokesman confirmed that a 27-year-old man was shot in the Vanguard Road area at around 7.15pm on Sunday night.

Ambulance paramedics later treated the man for a gunshot wound to his leg at the Tesco Express store in Cobden Avenue.

It is understood that a friend of the 27-year-old victim was attempting to drive him to Southampton General Hospital, but his condition deteriorated rapidly.

They stopped at the convenience store, just a mile from the scene of the shooting, where the emergency services were called.

The victim was continuing to undergo treatment at Southampton General Hospital last night, although police said his injuries were “not life threatening.”

As the shocked community struggled to come to terms with the shooting, officers confirmed yesterday afternoon that a 25-year-old man, who is known to the victim but is not thought to be from the local area, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

He was last night being questioned by detectives in connection with the incident, but police did not rule out the involvement of a second person, and said they were “actively seeking”

others who may have been involved.

Chief Inspector Stuart Murray confirmed that the shooting was being treated as an isolated incident and reassured members of the public that there was no risk to the wider community.

He said: “Although we have not formally spoken to the injured man the information we have from our initial investigations suggests that the offender was known to him, but is not local to the area.

“The man suffered injuries to the lower part of his body, but is currently being treated for those injuries, which are not believed to be lifethreatening.

of the public that we are doing everything we possibly can to recover the firearm and remove it from the streets.

If it has been discarded somewhere we would urge anyone who finds it to phone the police immediately and not to touch it.

“We would appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity of Vanguard Road at that time, immediately before or immediately afterwards, to contact us without delay as they may have seen or heard something that could be important to our inquiries.

“A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and continues to be questioned by detectives in connection with this incident, but we believe others may have been involved.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Hampshire’s major investigation team on 101, quoting Operation Saddlewood, or via Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.