A gunman who blasted a rival at point blank range in broad daylight on a busy street has admitted trying to murder him.
John Dees tailed victim Darren March in a car before summoning him to the passenger side window, lifting a sawn-off shotgun and shooting him.
Dees, who had been involved in a dispute with Mr March, then fled the scene in Washington as his victim slumped to the floor, fighting for his life.
The calculated gunman then sought to cover his tracks - removing his car's metallic black wrap so it became silver and shaving his hair off.
But the 33-year-old is now facing a lengthy prison sentence after he admitted attempted murder, possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and damaging property.
After the conviction at Newcastle Crown Court, Detective Sergeant Steven Brown, the officer in charge of the case, said it was a “miracle” that the victim was not killed.
“This was a terrifying and pre-meditated shooting committed in broad daylight on a bustling Washington street,” Det Sgt Brown said.
“Dees followed his victim in a car, acting aggressively and erratically, before calling him over and firing a sawn-off shotgun at point-blank range.
“It is nothing short of miraculous that the victim survived – we could so easily have been dealing with a murder investigation and conviction.
"Dees proved that he cannot be trusted to live in a lawful society and now faces a long time in prison. There can be no doubt that the streets of Washington are a safer place with him behind bars.
“The victim in this case has shown incredible bravery throughout this case, and I would also like to thank the detectives who worked meticulously and tirelessly to ensure Dees was brought to justice for his crimes."
The court was told the victim and two friends were driving in a blue Transit van when they heard a car horn sounding behind them on October 10 last year.
After looking around, they saw an incensed Dees, who was acting aggressively and vowed he was going to “smash” his victim.
The trio pulled away but a short time later Dees reappeared in the same vehicle and followed them until they pulled over outside the One Stop Shop on Blue House Lane.
With Dees revving his engine loudly, the victim got out of his car and was beckoned to the passenger-side door.
Dees then pointed the sawn-off shotgun at his victim and pulled the trigger, causing severe injuries including a large gunshot wound to his chest, shattered ribs and damage to his liver.
As his victim fell to the ground and fought for his life, Dees then drove off and attempted to cover his tracks by removing his car’s metallic black wrap – changing its appearance to silver – and peeled off vinyl stickers which he discarded in a wheelie bin.
He had also shaven his head in an attempt to change his appearance when officers located him.
He was swiftly arrested and police found the shotgun and unspent cartridges hidden in a rucksack left in a vacant address next door to a property belonging to a friend.
Dees, of Wensleydale Avenue, Washington refused to cooperate with police upon arrest, but has now admitted attempted murder, possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life and damaging property, in relation to his police cell.
He is due to be sentenced on April 24 after pre-sentence and psychiatric reports are compiled.
Judge Paul Sloan QC told him: "You should understand, the fact I'm adjourning sentence and directing the preparation of a pre-sentence report is not any indication of the sentence that will be imposed in due course.
"You will well understand a significant custodial sentence will follow."
Chief Inspector Nicola Wearing said: "Today's conviction reinforces our commitment to tackling serious and organised crime which undermines and threatens the fabric of our community.
"We want to reassure the people of Washington that incidents involving a firearm are thankfully rare in this area. However, when they do occur, this case shows we will use every resource available to us in order to secure a swift and successful prosecution.”