First and foremost I would like to pass on my condolences to both Gareth's family and his colleagues in South Manchester.
Gareth was a dedicated police officer with six years' experience and he will be greatly missed by his colleagues.
However, the loss will be even greater for Gareth's family and I would like to reassure them that we have a team of detectives working round-the-clock now to establish exactly what happened this morning.
What we do know is that Gareth was dropped off by taxi in Edgeley after he and his friends enjoyed a night out in Manchester city centre.
At some point in the next few minutes he was assaulted in the Castle Street area.
We now have high visibility patrols in Edgeley town centre and I would urge anyone with concerns to approach officers there.
More top news
The unexploded bomb was found near the Houses of Parliament and led to disruption in central London overnight.
Southern parts of England and Wales will see sunny skies after a frosty start.
A young child is among three deaths caused by a man who deliberately drove into crowds of people in the city centre of Melbourne.