A children’s author is fighting for his life after being shot during an ‘assassination attempt’ by a man who died in a motorbike crash fleeing the scene.

James Nash, 42, is now in a critical condition after he was shot in the head at home in the village of Upper Enham, Hampshire. A woman, 40, was also assaulted and sustained minor injuries during the incident, who took place at 3pm on August 5, a police spokesperson said.

The attacker, understood to be known to Mr Nash, fled the scene on a motorbike but crashed on the A343 near Hurstbourne Tarrant, just three miles away. He died at the scene.

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Hampshire Constabulary say they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting. Officers also attended an address in Enham Alamein as part of the investigation.

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The gunman’s motive for the attack is not yet clear, but it is being treated as a deliberate assassination attempt, The Times reports.

Mr Nash, who also works at the Science and Technology Facilities Council in Didcot, was named as the victim of the shooting by residents in the area who described him as a ‘lovely guy’.

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He is also said to be an author and artist, and lives in the hamlet with his wife Dr Sarah Nash, who works at a research laboratory for the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

One woman said: ‘He would literally do anything for anyone. He helps out with lots of things.

‘A few years ago we had a Fair and he was asked because he had a tractor to come and help out. He is a really nice person whenever I have spoken to him.’

Neighbour James Roberts, who lives close to the couple, told the Daily Mail: ‘We’re all quite shocked because this place is as quiet as it gets. We’re in the middle of the countryside and not much happens around here. The only noise you get is from animals.

‘I heard a loud bang and thought somebody had let off a firework. Soon after there were police everywhere.’

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Mr Nash is currently being treated at Southampton General Hospital while detectives are continuing to investigate what happened.

Chief Inspector Kory Thorne, Test Valley district commander, said: ‘We know residents in the Upper Enham and Hurstbourne Tarrant areas will have been concerned by what happened yesterday.

‘They are likely to see a continued police presence in these areas while we investigate the circumstances.

‘Officers from our Neighbourhood Policing Team will also be carrying out patrols for added reassurance. If you live in the area and have any concerns, please speak to them.’

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