Manchester Police Shooting
Police constables Fiona Bone and Police constable Nicola Hughes (R) pose in undated photographs released by Greater Manchester Police.

Police have confirmed that Dale Creegan, the suspect in the murder of women police constables Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone in Hyde, Greater Manchester, was on bail for another shooting which took place in May.

Creegan, who is currently being questioned by police over the motive behind the killing, was on bail for the murder of Mark Short in Droylesden, just a few miles away from the house outside which the officers were shot.

Police also suspected Cregan, 29, of murdering David Short, father of Mark, outside a pub in nearby Clayton last month.

Cregan has been in hiding since his release in June. Following the murder of David Short, police offered a £50,000 reward for anyone who could provide information on his whereabouts.

One publication described Cregan as "the most wanted man in Britain" in the weeks leading up to the Hyde shootings.

Following the shootings, Cregan turned himself in at Hyde police station and was promptly arrested.

'Cold-blooded murder'

The two unarmed police officers were shot at point blank range when they were sent to Tameside, Greater Manchester, to investigate a burglary report. However, the call turned out to be bogus and was made by their killer.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) chief constable Sir Peter Fahy described the officers' death as "cold-blooded murder" and the motive behind the killing was "impossible to fathom".

It appeared that they were deliberately lured to death, said Constable Fahy.

"When they arrived, it appears that Cregan emerged into the road and killed these two officers. A firearm was used, a grenade was also used," said Fahy.

"We believe that Dale Cregan was in a house in Abbey Gardens and has at some point either himself made a call or had someone else make a call reporting a burglary.

"We are absolutely devastated by this loss and our thoughts and condolences go out to the families of these two officers, their friends and in particularly their colleagues who work with them day in, day out who are shocked and distressed at the events of this morning".

According to a statement from Tameside Hospital, they "strived to save the life of a female officer who was brought to the A&E unit with critical injuries but that she sadly died".

Police are waiting for the postmortem report to know the precise cause of death.