Dad shot dead at Traveller site

Jessie Smith, known as Jess, was shot dead at a Travellers' site on New Year's Day, 2015. PNL-150501-161323001
Jessie Smith, known as Jess, was shot dead at a Travellers' site on New Year's Day, 2015. PNL-150501-161323001

A father who was shot dead on New Year’s Day has been described by his family as a lovely husband and good man.

Jessie Smith – known as Jess – was blasted in the back at a Travellers’ site at around 2am on Thursday morning.

Paramedics rushed to the site in Burwell, Cambridgeshire, and performed CPR – but Jess was pronounced dead at the scene.

A second man was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge with minor facial injuries but has since been discharged.

Jess, 36, lived in Common Road, Potton.

In a statement, his family said: “Jess was a lovely husband and you couldn’t find a better father.

“He was a good man. We felt honoured to have him as the head of our family.”

A post mortem concluded that he had died from a gunshot wound to the back, and Cambs Police have launched a murder investigation.

The incident took place at around 2am on New Year’s Day, and police officers have been talking to residents on a Traveller site located just yards from the rural road where Jess was found.

A police cordon was put up after the shooting, with armed units remaining in and around the surrounding area throughout the day.

Detective Chief Inspector Jason Gordon said: “We are in the early stages of this investigation but at this stage we are treating this as an isolated incident.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who may have information about this man’s death.”

Anyone with information should contact the Major Crime Unit on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.