'Dear Santa, please help the police catch the people who hurt me' - heartbreaking Christmas letter of boy (7) shot in his own home
An innocent seven-year-old boy who was shot in the leg on his doorstep in a suspected gangland feud has written to Santa asking him to "help the police catch the people who hurt me".
Christian Hickey was blasted in the leg last month alongside his mother Jayne, 29, after they were confronted by two men when they opened the door at their Salford home.
Like most young children in the lead up to Christmas, Christian has written a letter to Santa with a list of presents - but with one heart-breaking difference.
On the top of the schoolboy's handwritten list is a request to Father Christmas asking him to help find the perpetrator behind the violence, who hurt Christian and his mother.
Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson of the Greater Manchester Police Serious Crime Division said: "It is heart wrenching to know that a little boy who should be writing a list filled with exciting gifts, has got this at the top of his Christmas list.
"What happened to Christian will stay with him for the rest of his life but what we can do is try to make this up to him by finding those responsible and bringing them to justice."
A powerful image of Christian in hospital was released following the attack showing him swaddled in bandages in the hope that someone would come forward with information.
His mother, who was also shot twice in the leg, had recounted the moment she saw blood "pouring" from her son.
Following a brief conversation, one of the men fired a number of shots at close range.
After numerous surgeries both have now left hospital and are recovering but there is a long road ahead.
Police are now renewing their appeal for information surrounding the double shooting on October 12, in which two men had knocked on the door and reportedly asked for the boy's father, Christian senior.
Detectives said the double shooting is potentially linked to the murder of gangland security boss Paul Massey, 55, in Salford in July, and a feud between rival gangs in the Swinton and central Salford area of the city which has so far seen at least five shootings.
Det Chief Supt Jackson added he was "determined" to find the culprits behind the shooting of Christian.
"These people have absolutely no place in civilised society and we remain as determined as ever to find them.
"We are continuing to appeal for information and I would like to urge anybody who may know something to please get in touch."