Mother's tribute to 'humble, caring' son shot dead at petrol station

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The mother of a man shot dead during a chance confrontation outside a petrol station has paid tribute to her "humble, caring" son.

John Pordage, 34, died after being shot in the chest at the BP garage near the Army and Navy roundabout in Baddow Road, Chelmsford, Essex at around 2.10am on Saturday.

The victim was with his friend, a 25-year-old man, when they met a person known to them and had an exchange of words that descended into violence, Essex Police said.

His mother Sue Wilson said: "My dear lovely, handsome son John has been taken away from me, his family and friends.

"We are all so heartbroken.

"John was fun-loving and wore his heart on his sleeve.

"He was known for his big personality and friendly nature. He was a cheeky chap and had so much to look forward to.

"We loved him, everyone loved him. He had the biggest heart.

"John loved working out at the gym and was into healthy eating. He was also an accomplished artist who loved creativity and design.

"John was a humble, caring young man who would support everyone and do anything for anybody.

"We are going to miss him so very much. Words cannot describe the pain I am going through right now.

"I would like to thank everyone for their dear messages of support."

Detectives originally believed Mr Pordage was shot by an occupant of a blue Ford Focus but senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings said the suspect was not in a vehicle at the time of the shooting.

He left the scene in the car before police arrived and the victim, of Galleywood, was taken to hospital where he later died.

Police have recovered the car and searched a number of addresses but have made no arrests.

Mr Jennings, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "My thoughts are with Mr Pordage's family during this extremely difficult time and our inquiries are progressing into finding those responsible for his tragic death.

"We are continuing to keep an open mind about the motive behind this shocking incident.

"From our inquiries so far, we believe this was a chance meeting involving people known to each other.

"There was an exchange of words, which escalated into a violent disturbance during which Mr Pordage was shot.

"We have established that at the time of the incident, both he, his friend and the suspect were not inside any vehicles.

"Numerous witnesses have come forward and I'd like to thank them and the community for their continued support.

"I still ask anyone who has any information about this incident to please get in touch with us, or Crimestoppers."

The road was closed for forensic examination and patrols in the area had been increased, the force said.