After months of terrorising Walford, Stuart Highway has been stopped in his tracks (well, temporarily at least) by a single bullet.
In dramatic scenes that aired on Monday and Tuesday (3 and 4 September), East End menace Stuart was shot in the abdomen and left bleeding to death by a secret assailant.
The attempted murder took place in The Queen Vic, where Stuart lay in wait for the Carters in a bid to exact revenge on them.
However, it was the self-appointed paedophile hunter and childhood ‘friend’ of Mick Carter who ended up on the floor fighting for his life.
But who shot him? And why didn’t they do a better job of finishing him off?!
After the police were called, some fans were quick to assume that Linda Carter was the shooter after she was seen wiping a gun clean and throwing it in the canal.
But other fans have different theories. Here are the list of prime suspects who have motive to shoot Stuart…
Matriarch Linda has made no secret of the fact that she’s disliked Stuart from the start, even before his truly awful behaviour was revealed. And everyone knows she’ll do anything for her family. Did she shoot Stuart to get rid of him once and for all from her husband’s life?
It’s possible, but many fans believe Linda is too obvious and would solve the crime too quickly. More likely that she disposed of the gun to protect someone else…?
— ❤❤ Nicky ❤❤ (@nickyjane68) September 4, 2018
I think it was Linda that shot Stuart, she was way too shaken when the episode started. #eastenders
— EastEnders Weekly Podcast (@eastendersweek) September 4, 2018
Mick has more motive than most. After all, this is his childhood friend who has duped and lied to him all these years. He’s also terrorised his auntie Tina, and stalked his wife Linda.
Mick has a high sense of moral duty, and a notorious temper. However, he could have suffocated Stuart while he lay on the ground after being shot, but he stopped himself. Why would he do this if he’d been responsible for shooting him in the first place?
And surely Mick would have been a better aim, shooting at the heart rather than his guts?!
I think Linda's getting rid of the gun because she thinks Mick shot Stuart!! #EastEnders
— jennie wilks (@jenniewilks1) September 4, 2018
Like Linda, she’ll do anything for her family and she’s not to be messed with.
She was apparently ‘out having a fag’ at the time of the shooting, but we all know she’s got form where guns are concerned!
We reckon Shirley would have finished the job, though, and probably with her bare hands!
Tina has very good reasons for wanting Stuart dead after a flashback revealed he’d been behind a horrific ordeal she’d endured while she was younger.
She was acting very suspiciously in the aftermath of the shooting and seemed to have delayed calling the emergency services to get help for Stuart as he lay bleeding to death on the floor.
Could she have finally snapped?
So I thought Linda shot Stuart….. but now I'm thinking she's got rid of the gun believing that Mick has actually done it and she thinks she's protecting him …..and that tina actually shot him…. #EastEnders
— leah the loonie 🙂 (@shanes_loonie) September 5, 2018
This is a long shot, as loyal Halfway has stood by his brother throughout. But this is EastEnders we’re discussing, and anything is possible!
Halfway has been left devastated by the actions of his older brother, especially after Stuart tried to poison his mind against girlfriend Whitney.
He was seen crying when he discovered his bro’s lifeless body in the basement, but were they tears of guilt? Having been in the army, he would certainly know how to use a gun, too.
While Whitney possibly has the weakest motive, she could have been driven to shoot Stuart in an attempt to rid her boyfriend Halfway of her psycho brother once and for all.
While she did and said all the right things to help him afterwards, she was also seen deleting Halfway’s messages to Stuart – what was she hiding?
Okay, #Eastenders theory, Linda didn’t shoot Stuart but she’s acting like this cause she thinks Mick did it and is doing it to protect him. Whitney shot him as she was seen coming out the kitchen at the start of the episode pic.twitter.com/e84Kko1qXO
— Lewis John Yule (@LewisJohnY2) September 4, 2018
A prime suspect for us, Dylan was also a victim of Stuart’s bullying and nightmarish pranks.
Dylan had reported Stuart to the police for a similar stunt to Tina’s, but later retracted the statement accusing Stuart of intimidating him.
But is he who he says he is?
Although he was staying at the pub on the fateful night, he was NOT seen in the aftermath of the shooting. And what was in the bag he was guarding to ‘help him sleep’?
I’m saying Dylan. He came down and shot him with his own gun. Linda heard the bang came down and saw Stuart’s gun on the bar and because mick weren’t in she assumed he shot stuart and that’s why she’s panicking and got rid of the one she found. #EastEnders
— Jonathan Turnock (@jw_turnock) September 4, 2018
Dylan shot Stuart with his own gun, Linda chucked stuarts gun because she thinks mick did it. Sorted! #EastEnders
— Tori Faulkner (@toriellaboo) September 4, 2018
Another big contender for shooter is Stuart himself. Could he have shoot himself – or paid someone else to – to be able to later lay the blame on one of the Carter family? This would also explain why the wound wasn’t fatal.
It would be typical of one of Stuart’s sadistic games… But, if it’s one of Stuart’s sick moves, has Linda set herself up by getting rid of the gun?
I think Stuart shot himself & stashed the gun under the bar to frame Mick. He already has Mick’s DNA under his nails. Linda found the gun when she went to get bar towels which is why she froze. Whitney thought she was helping Halfway by deleting texts
— Nicola Collins (@jamiesauntie) September 5, 2018
— fi (@RockgirlFiona) September 4, 2018
Some fans think Sharon’s son is to blame, after his previous ‘odd jobs’ for Stuart.
He’s previously done Stuart’s dirty work, having been paid by the thug to steal the keys from the Queen Vic, amongst other things.
One fan predicted: “You heard it here first – Dennis shot Stuart #Eastenders.”
You heard it here first – Dennis shot Stuart #Eastenders
— Darren (@DarrenHaynes04) September 4, 2018
What’s everyone’s theories then? #EastEnders I reckon either Stuart shot himself or got Dennis to do it and Linda’s getting rid of the gun because she thinks it was Mick
— SOPH (Gingy) ❤️ (@sophiethegingy) September 4, 2018
All we do know for certain is that EastEnders intends to play out this attempted-murder mystery until well into the autumn.
Inside Soap recently revealed: “Fans at home won’t know at first who pulled the trigger, so they’ll be on the edge of their seats as they wait to learn who did it.
“There are so many questions… Not only of who did the deed, but also the matter of whether the bullet was even meant for the person who took it.”
One thing is for sure, there are a lot of guilty-looking faces in Albert Square at the moment…
Who do YOU think shot Stuart Highway? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!