INVESTIGATIONS are continuing today after a popular dad was shot dead outside his takeaway business.
Police are hunting two gunmen after father-of-two Tipu Sultan was shot in the back lane behind his family’s business, Herbs & Spice Kitchen, in Lake Avenue, Marsden.
It is believed that two men seen riding on a motorbike are connected to the incident, and police are trying to trace them.
The 32-year-old, who lived in Gilsland Street, Sunderland, but was originally from Bangladesh, was found with a single gunshot wound at 9.58pm.
Paramedics and police were called to the scene, where the father-of-two was pronounced dead.
His wife, named locally as Julie Nasrin, 27, was being comforted by relatives along with the couple’s son, seven-year-old Ilyas, and their two-year-old daughter Aeysha at their home.
Witnesses say they saw two men wearing crash helmets and dressed in dark clothing on a motorbike drive into the rear lane in Lake Avenue just before Mr Sultan was shot.
They were then seen driving away from the area in the direction of Lizard Lane immediately after the shooting.
Residents in the area spoke of their shock at the shooting, saying Mr Sultan was “the nicest man you could ever meet”.
They also said they had no idea why anyone would want to hurt him.
He was the nicest man you could ever meet – he wouldn’t hurt a fly.Ann Wilkinson, former landlady of The Lake pub
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “I’ve known Tipu for 20 years. He was a brilliant family man and just a really lovely person.
“He watched my three kids grow up and he was always lovely to them.
“The whole community is shocked. I can’t believe it.
She added: “My sister was just in the takeaway earlier that night. When I heard the ambulances and the helicopter, we went out to see what was going on and we stood with Tip’s family.
“His brother was trying to run over to him but he couldn’t get to him. it was just devastating.”
Ann Wilkinson, 57, a former landlady of The Lake pub, which is next door to the takeaway, said: “I heard a bang, but just thought it was a firework, and then I heard the helicopter.
“Tipu was the nicest man you could ever meet. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.
“Everyone is just shocked.”
Aaron Day, 31, a teacher who lives nearby, said: “It’s a shock for something like this to happen around here.
“For something like this to happen raises lots of questions about what goes on behind closed doors.”
The police officer in charge of the investigation, Superintendent Sav Patsalos, said police believe this was not a random attack.
He said: “We believe that this has been an isolated incident and not a random shooting. Enquiries are ongoing to establish this.
“Those responsible may have planned the incident in advance of carrying it out and if anyone has seen anything or anyone suspicious in the area at anytime in the past few days then I’d ask them to come forward and speak to us.”
He added: “The investigation into the murder of Tipu Sultan is in its very early stages. A full murder investigation is currently being carried out.
Anyone who was in the area around the takeaway on Tuesday night and who might have any information that could help with enquiries is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference number 1255 07/04/15.
Information can be passed anonymously by ringing Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.