- Thomas Mackintosh
- BBC – London
British police have launched a murder investigation after a woman was shot dead in a pub near Liverpool on Christmas Eve.
Merseyside Police officers were called to the Lighthouse Inn pub in Wallasey Village around 23:50 GMT on Saturday.
Three men and a woman with gunshot wounds were taken to hospital, but the woman later died.
Detective Officer Dave McCaughrean said the shooting took place in a “busy place full of young people”.
“We believe the gunman left the pub’s car park in a dark car – possibly a dark Mercedes – shortly after the shooting,” he added.
Police said “a number of others” were also wounded in the shooting, which the police chief described as a despicable act.
District MP Dame Angela Eagle described the shooting as “heartbreaking”.
She tweeted, “My heart goes out to the family of the deceased woman and the injured. Please anyone who has any information tell the police.”
Officer McCaughrean implored everyone who witnessed the incident to come forward and testify.
“The investigation is still in its very early stages and we understand that it is truly horrific and devastating that an incident like this happened just before Christmas,” he added.
And he added, “We have a number of officers in Wallasey village who are conducting extensive investigations to understand exactly what happened and to take immediate action.”
“A woman tragically gave her life on Christmas while many others are receiving treatment in hospital,” McCaughrean said. “Our thoughts and condolences are with the victim’s family.”
The police added that the victim’s relatives have been informed and that her family members are receiving support from specially trained officers.
The pub was central to the community, said Geoffrey Hughes, pastor of the United Reformed Church in the village of Wallasey. He described the area as “quite lively,” adding, “It’s a beautiful part of Wallasey.” “We have a lot of young people and families in that area.” “It’s a shock,” Hughes said. “When we first heard of a shooting in Wallasey this morning, Wallasey was the last place on our minds.”
The BBC’s Sarah Rogers, who has been on the scene since the early morning, said: “Not long ago this pub was packed with young people.
“The TVs are still on – it looks like it’s an after party. There are still bottles strewn across the tables where people were celebrating Christmas,” she added.
Rogers L noted that it is very devastating to any family and any friends at any time, especially at Christmas.
She explained that the police urge any witnesses who have video clips on their phones or any information, to contact them quickly.