The family of a 26-year-old woman have been left “devastated” and “inconsolable” after she was killed in a Christmas Eve shooting at a pub in Merseyside, police have said in a fresh appeal for information.
Officers said the woman, who was shot in the head, is not believed to have been targeted in the shooting, which also left four others injured – one of them critically.
The incident happened at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village on the Wirral shortly after 11.50pm on Christmas Eve.
Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs told a news conference on Christmas Day: “Tragically the victim, a 26-year-old woman, had suffered a serious gunshot injury to her head.
“She was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital but sadly passed away shortly afterwards.
“Her family have been informed, and on today, which should be a day with friends celebrating, they are coming to terms with this tragic loss.
“It’s very early stages of the investigation, but we do not believe that the victim in this case has been targeted. She was out enjoying Christmas with her sister and friends at what should have been a peaceful time.
“What her family are now going through is incomprehensible.”
Merseyside Police’s assistant chief constable Jenny Sims said the actions of the gunman were “totally and utterly reckless”, and that the person or people responsible need to be caught.
She added: “We’ve already had an overwhelming response from the public following the murder, particularly from people who were in the pub last night, but we do need more information so that we can find those responsible for this callous murder.
“Our investigation will rely heavily on information we receive from the public, and I urge members of the public and the local community who have any information which could help us come forward, so we can bring those responsible for this horrific murder of a young woman at Christmas to justice.
“She should have had the rest of her life to look forward to – instead, her family can now only think of what might have been.”
DS Coombs said the gunman fired shots towards the front entrance of the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village, before making off in a dark vehicle, possibly an A-Class Mercedes Benz.
Four others were also injured, including a 28-year-old man who remains in a critical condition in hospital.
A 22-year-old man received leg injuries, a 24-year-old man sustained a hand injury, and a 33-year-old man suffered an injury to his wrist. None of these injuries are thought to be life-threatening.
‘It was really calm – that’s how I knew it was bad’
Molly Mason, who lives near to the pub, told Sky News the scene appeared to be “calm and collected” – which told her something bad happened.
“Our living room was just blue from flashing blue” [emergency service lights], she said. “I looked out the window and I just saw loads of police sirens coming this way, an ambulance and just a flow of hundreds of [people], just coming out of the pub coming this way down – it was really silent and really calm and collected.
“I think there was a lot of shock. You could just sort of sense that in the moment – that’s the reason I know this is bad. It’s because there’s no drama. No one’s been dramatic, no one screaming, crying.
“It was a state of shock.”
The pub called the shooting “a tragedy beyond words” in a statement, adding: “All our thoughts are with the friends and family of our customers and in particular our hearts go out to the family of our customer who has lost her life.
“We are completely shocked by this and were expecting to host a number of people for Christmas Day meals, but sadly this is no longer possible.”
The MP for Wallasey, Dame Angela Eagle, described the news as “heartbreaking” and urged anyone with information to contact the police.
She tweeted: “My thoughts are with the family of the woman who has died and those who are injured.”
The pub is “central” to the local community, the minister at a nearby church said.
Source : BBC News