A MAN who was shot in the stomach with a shotgun remains in a critical condition as police continue their investigation into the attempted murder.

Officers have released more information about the incident as they appeal for witnesses and have said how the man's family were on their way home when the shooting took place.

Police were called to Glebelands Road, Prestwich, shortly before 8.40pm on Monday to reports that a man had been shot.

John Louden, aged 49, was in his home when three men broke in.

Police have said that an hour before they were called to the scene three masked men arrived at the victim's house and stood on his driveway, where they appeared to load a gun.

They then went to the back of the property before returning to the front and walking off down the road towards Poppythorn Road.

At around 8.20pm, the same men approached his house from the direction of Heywood Road and again, went around the back.

This time they smashed the patio door and went into the house where they were met by Mr Louden on the stairs.

They fired the shotgun at close range and fled from the house in the direction of Poppythorn Road.

Mr Louden was taken to hospital for treatment where he remains in a critical condition.

Police have now released descriptions of the three men.

The first offender is described as 5ft9in tall, of a medium to broad build wearing a dark hooded top with reflective piping across the back, arms and cuffs. He was carrying a dark holdall, wearing dark gloves, dark bottoms and dark footwear.

The second offender is described as 5ft7in tall of a medium build, wearing a dark hooded style coat with the hood up, as well as dark gloves and dark footwear.

The third offender is described as 5ft9in tall of a slim build wearing a dark hooded top with a Stone Island logo on the left sleeve. He was also wearing a dark baseball cap, with dark gloves, trousers and footwear.

Detective Chief Inspector Charlotte Cadden of GMP’s Bury borough, said: “The level of violence shown towards this man in his own home was extreme and he is lucky to be alive.

“His family were lucky not to be caught up in this terrifying ordeal as they were moments away from returning home.

“We have increased patrols in the area while the investigation continues and would encourage anyone who has concerns or questions, to speak to the officers directly.

“This was a brutal attack and we need the public’s help in finding those responsible.

“If you were in the area between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on Monday evening and saw anything that was out of the ordinary, or saw the offenders as they travelled around Glebelands Road, please get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 8157 or 101, quoting incident number 2038 of 27/11/17. Any report can be made anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.