11-year-old boy dies after being shot in Liverpool

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

An 11-year-old boy has died after being shot in the car park of the Fir Tree pub in the Croxteth area of Liverpool, shortly after 1930 BST. An eyewitness, who had been drinking outside the pub at the time, said the boy was one of three playing football in the car park when a teenager, believed to be male, on a BMX bicycle fired three shots at the group from approximately 30 metres away, one hitting the victim in the neck. The other shots missed the boys, one hitting a car. The boy's mother was called to the scene as people came out of the pub to help him. Other witnesses have suggested the incident may be gang-related.

A spokesman for North West Ambulance Service said: "We treated an 11-year-old with serious gunshot wounds." He added the boy was taken to Alder Hey Children's Hospital, but police later confirmed he had died. Officers have sealed off the scene, including a neighbouring street of shops. There have currently been no arrests in connection with the shooting.

In an appeal to the local community to help catch the killer, Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: "Someone out there knows who put the gun in his hand and I want your help to get the community to turn that gunman in tonight. This is quite an awful crime, quite senseless, and the community holds the clue to solving this crime quickly. You can only imagine the heartache of the family that's been ripped apart."

Local councillor Rose Bailey, who lives nearby, also appealed for people with information to come forward, saying: "It sends shockwaves through the community of Croxteth and really it must be devastating. To think your young son is out playing football and then to get a call to say he's been shot, I really don't know as a parent how you would handle that."

The area around the pub was made a "designated area" by police last year, meaning officers could disperse groups and move people away from the area.

The incident is another in a growing list of shootings of minors, many gang-related, in the UK's major cities in 2007.