Six more arrests made in search for killer of Rhys Jones

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Six teenagers have been arrested for questioning in relation to the murder of Rhys Jones in the Croxteth area of Liverpool on Wednesday evening. The arrests of the four males, aged 15, 16 and two aged 19, and two females, aged 15 and 18, bring to seven the number of people currently held in custody, joining a 15-year-old male arrested yesterday, and to nine the total number of arrests so far. Five of the teenagers were arrested early this morning, while the other was arrested later in the day. The arrests were all made in the Croxteth and Norris Green areas of Liverpool, the two females together at the same location, the four males at separate locations.

Detective Superintendent David Kelly later said one of the 19-year-old males is being treated in hospital for minor injuries he suffered during the arrest, having fallen from a first-floor window trying to escape. Det Supt Kelly also said the police would like to talk to a dark-haired woman in particular, saying: "The woman could potentially be a key witness. We know from our inquiries there was a woman pushing a pram minutes before Rhys was killed and we believe she will have passed within close proximity to the killer." He added that the killer emerged from a housing estate behind the Fir Tree pub and rode around on his bicycle at the back of the pub for a few minutes before firing three shots, one of which hit Rhys, who had been walking home alone after football practice, in the neck.

Police are still examining a bicycle found abandoned yesterday, but have yet to find the murder weapon, said to be a black, long-barrelled handgun.

Chief Superintendent Chris Armitt urged the local community to "examine their consciences" and take a stand against gang culture. He said: "We understand that people are concerned about giving information to the police, we understand that people are frightened, that's natural." He added that the police "have not had the level of information about those key issues that we would expect and that we want" and reassured members of the public that any witness who came forward would be protected, saying anybody with information must "stand up and be counted".

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