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Teenager shot dead during burglary as farmer is arrested on suspicion of murder

Marcus Smith, 19, suffered fatal injuries after the break-in at the Peak District farmhouse

A suspected burglar has been shot dead during a “targeted” break-in at a remote farmhouse in the Peak District.

A man in his 50s, understood to be the farm owner, was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder and was being questioned by detectives on Thursday.

The victim, named locally as 19-year-old Marcus Smith, was found injured inside the property at Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, at around 1.20am on Wednesday.

A second man, who is in his teens, was found on the road nearby suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to hospital, where he remains. He was arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary.

A third suspect was also arrested on suspicion of the same offense after being stopped by police in a vehicle on the A6, near Chapel-en-le-Frith, several hours later.

Forensics officers inspect the farm in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, after the incident on Tuesday night – Tom Maddick / SWNS

Locals said the incident had rocked the community, with one woman, who lives close to the farm, saying: “It’s shocking when something like this happens on your doorstep.

“I’ve had people ringing me asking if I’m OK. “This is normally a sleepy little town.”

Mr Smith was described as a former pupil at Chapel-en-le-Frith High School who had played for local football club Chapel Town.

His mother, Kerry, a nurse, who was described as being “devastated” by the death of her son, posted a picture of herself with him on her Facebook page.

Messages of sympathy

Friends posted messages on the page of their sympathy.

One wrote: “We are so shocked and so heartbroken, nothing can express how deeply sorry we are.”

It is understood the farmer had moved back to the area recently.

A neighbor of Mr Smith’s mother said the farmer used to operate a dairy business.

Roads near the property were cordoned off following the alleged break-in, with Derbyshire Police launching a murder investigation.

Police said: “Two scenes remain in place at two houses in Eccles Road and will remain in place for some time.”

Derbyshire Police confirmed that they had received reports of a burglary at the same Eccles Road property on the afternoon of Tuesday April 30, at around 3.30pm.

Officers said they were keeping an open mind as to whether the two incidents were linked.

Chief Supt Dave Kirby, of Derbyshire Police, said he believed the second incident had been a “targeted attack” and that there was no greater risk to the public.

He said: “We appreciate the impact this incident is having on this small rural community and we’d like to thank local residents for their help with this investigation so far.

“We are aware there has been some speculation locally around this and while we are in the early stages of the investigation, we believe this is a targeted incident. At this stage, we don’t believe there is any wider risk to the public.

“Residents in the area will see an increased police presence in the area for some time as investigations continue and we will provide further updates as soon as we are able.

“In the meantime, I’d ask anyone who has any information to please contact us, in confidence.”