A young woman was killed and three men wounded in a Christmas Eve shooting at a pub in north-west England, police said on Sunday.
Merseyside Police were investigating the shooting at 11:50pm on Saturday at the Lighthpuse pub in the town of Wallasey as a murder. There were no suspects in custody.
“This investigation is in its early stages and we understand that this is a shocking and devastating incident that has occurred just before Christmas in a place full of young people,” Detective Superintendent David McCaughrean said.
The woman died at a hospital “with an injury consistent with a gunshot wound,” police said in a statement. In addition to the three injured, several people suffered injuries, according to a statement.
Investigators were looking for witnesses and video from cellphones and security cameras to determine what happened, McCaughrean said.
“We believe the shooter left the pub car park in a dark colored vehicle, possibly a dark Mercedes, shortly after the shooting, and we are very keen that anyone who saw him contact us immediately,” he said.
The pastor of a nearby church told Britain’s Press Association news agency that the shooting would be traumatic for residents because of the location of the pub.
“In that area we have many young people, families. The Lighthouse is crucial in that community,” said Jeffret Hughes, pastor of the United Reformed Church.
Hughes noted that the Christmas morning service at his church would not be “a celebration as it was going to be” because of the troubling news.
The violence, he told PA, “shows us that even when we celebrate Christmas, we are still a long way from those ideals (of peace) as a society.”
Gun violence is relatively rare in Britain, where most officers do not carry pistols.
A shooting to death at a pub in eastern England on Friday night led to the arrest of a 44-year-old man, according to Essex police.
The suspect was charged with murder, possession of an assault weapon in a public place and possession of a sharp object in a public space following the death of another man at the Lamb and Lion pub in Westcliff-on-Sea.