Police were called to the scene near Bury, Gtr Manchester, at around 9am after residents reported hearing gunshots.
They said the victim, in his 30s, later made his way to Fairfield Hospital in Bury, where he is in a serious condition having been shot in the “upper body”.
A van with a punctured tyre was pictured outside and the vehicle was cordoned off as officers stood guard.
The incident occurred close to Mersey Drive Community Primary School in Unsworth.
Chief Inspector Phil Spurgeon, of GMP’s Bury borough, said: “I understand that this incident will cause concern in the community but I want to reassure local people that we are responding as a matter of priority.
“We currently have police at the scene and in the nearby area carrying out enquiries and searching for the people responsible for this shocking incident.
“Our investigation is in its early stages and we have a team of detectives working to establish the full circumstances of exactly what has happened but I would ask that anybody with information contacts police immediately.”
In a statement, the school said: "Following an incident that took place this morning we would like to reassure you that school is unaffected.
"Pupils and staff are all safe. However, there will be extra police presence in the area today.
"We have been advised that road closures are expected at the top end of Harris Drive and on Cunningham Drive. Please allow extra time if collecting your child by car."
One resident expressed his shock about the shooting in what he described as a ‘quiet’ neighbourhood.
He said: “It’s very worrying, there’s young kids around. I’m really surprised. Nothing happens around here.”
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