Shocking moment drive-by shooter opens fire from BMW window near primary school

19 March 2022, 19:26

By Sophie Barnett

This is the shocking moment a man was filmed shooting a gun out of the window of a BMW near a school in Manchester.

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Sean Cowie, 32, was caught on CCTV hanging out the side of a BMW pointing a gun at a VW Golf in the Harpurhey area of the city.

An innocent member of the public was caught up in the violence - narrowly escaping with their life as a bullet hit their car.

No one was injured in the incident.

Cowie was being driven by his associate Dean Urey, 39, who was pursuing a VW Golf on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 19.

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Sean Cowie was caught hanging out of a BMW window in the drive-by shooting.
Sean Cowie was caught hanging out of a BMW window in the drive-by shooting. Picture: Greater Manchester Police

The shocking CCTV footage shows two cars driving in tandem at speed onto Briscoe Lane, close to a primary school, where Cowie can be seen leaning out of the backseat window.

Cowie and Urey were also accompanied by Paul Ryan, 43.

Greater Manchester Police investigated the incident after they received a call from a man whose car was struck by a stray bullet when he was driving home from work - one of two shots that officers believe were fired by Cowie.

All three men were arrested following extensive trawling of CCTV in the area.

While searching Ryan's address on Ashton Road East, Oldham, a shotgun was seized from one of the bedrooms, police said.

The gun wasn’t used in the incident and no firearm could be linked to the shooting.

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Sean Cowie, Dean Urey, and Paul Ryan.
Sean Cowie, Dean Urey, and Paul Ryan. Picture: Greater Manchester Police

No one in the VW Golf were willing to support a prosecution, but Cowie, Ryan and Urey all pleaded guilty to the offences due to the overwhelming evidence presented to them at court.

All three men were jailed on Friday to a total of over 17 years.

Shooter Cowie, of Ashton Road East, Oldham, was handed five years and seven months behind bars after being convicted of conspiracy with intent to cause fear or violence offence.

Ryan received a six-and-a-half year sentence for possession of a shotgun without a license and conspiracy with intent to cause fear or violence offence.

Urey, of Greaves Road, Failsworth, was ordered to serve five years and four months for admitting conspiracy with intent to cause fear or violence offence.

Detective Inspector Claire Moss, Senior Investigating Officer for Operation Accentor, said their sentences mean the streets of north Manchester "are much safer".

She described the incident as "reckless" and said putting them behind bars means they are unable to embark on any further reckless and potentially life-threatening acts of violence.

"We never established what this was all about, but what we uncovered from the CCTV of this attack was shocking to say the least, and it is quite clear from the fact an innocent man's car was struck that this easily could’ve ended with somebody being seriously - if not fatally - injured," she said.

"In the moments preceding the shooting, we can see plenty of daytime traffic coming and going through Briscoe Lane - including a woman pushing a pram - in what was a busy area so close to a local primary school in the middle of the school day. Anyone could’ve been seriously hurt here."