DETECTIVES leading the manhunt for two men after a shooting in Southampton have revealed the victim was shot in both legs.

The 27-year-old man had arranged to meet with the two men in a ground floor flat in Townhill Park and as he was leaving the property was shot in both calves, officers have revealed.

He managed to limp away to a friend’s car while the men ran to a blue BMW1 series car that was driven out of Vanguard Road and possibly on to Townhill Way towards the Big Cheese roundabout. It is then believed to have been seen on Bitterne Road East before disappearing along Dean Road.

Detectives this morning found the car that they say could be crucial to finding those responsible for the shooting on Sunday night.

Det Insp Adam Price said they believed the car had been dumped by the gunmen.

It was discovered in Hollybrook Road, Southampton. Det Insp Price said: “This man could have been shot dead and as such we are being relentless in our pursuit of those responsible.”

He revealed the vehicle had been stolen from a Southampton property overnight on February 16 and fitted with fake number plates that had been cloned from another identical vehicle from Aldershot that is unrelated to the inquiry.

Officers reconstructed the car leaving the crime scene as part of the appeal for information.

Meanwhile the victim was described as being in a stable condition after undergoing two operations.

Police said they were keeping an “open mind” on the motive for the shooting but said initial inquiries indicated it was not linked to drugs.

The gun used in the shooting has still not been recovered.

A cordon remains around the flat where forensic officers have been gathering evidence. Ballistic experts have also been involved in the inquiry team.

Anyone with information can call the Operation Saddlewood team on 101.

A 25 year old man from London and an 18-year-old Southampton teenager were being questioned last night in connection with the shooting.

Four other suspects, including a 15- year-old boy, have been bailed pending further enquiries.