Wallasey shooting: gunman opens fire at Lighthouse Inn pub, Wirral, killing a woman and injuring others
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The shooting has been described as “heartbreaking” by local MP Dame Angela Eagle, who urged anyone with information to contact police. Merseyside Police said officers were called to the Lighthouse Inn pub, in Wallasey Village, at around 11.50pm on Saturday 24 December following reports of gunshots.
The force said a young woman was taken to hospital with a gunshot injury and was pronounced dead. Three men other men were also rushed to hospital, having been shot, and a number of other people were also injured. The pub is in Wallasey Village, on the opposite side of the River Mersey from Liverpool, on the Wirral.
Wallasey MP Dame Angela tweeted: “This is heartbreaking news – My thoughts are with the family of the woman who has died & those who are injured. Anyone with any information please tell the police.”
Det Supt David McCaughrean said: “This investigation is in the very early stages and we understand that this is a truly shocking and devastating incident that has happened just before Christmas Day in a busy venue full of young people.
“We have a number of officers at Wallasey Village who are carrying out extensive inquiries to understand exactly what has taken place and take immediate action. A woman has tragically lost her life at Christmas whilst several people are being treated in hospital and our thoughts and condolences are with the victim’s family.”
Det Supt McCaughrean said officers believe the gunman left the pub car park in a dark vehicle, which may have been a dark Mercedes. “I would ask anyone who was in the Lighthouse in Wallasey Village last night who witnessed the incident or has mobile or CCTV footage of what happened to contact us as a matter of urgency as they may have information which is vital to our investigation,” he said.
“We believe that the gunman left the pub car park in a dark-coloured vehicle – possibly a dark-coloured Mercedes – shortly after the shooting and we are keen to hear from anyone who saw this to contact us immediately.”
The pub is “central” to the local community, the minister at a nearby church said. Jeffrey Hughes, minister of the United Reformed Church in Wallasey Village, said news of the fatal shooting will have come as a shock to people in the area.
He told the PA news agency: “Wallasey Village is a fairly lively area, it’s a nice part of Wallasey, its a nice part of the north end of the Wirral. We’ve got a lot of young people, families in that area. The Lighthouse is central in that community.
“It’s a shock. When we first heard the news this morning that there’d been a shooting in Wallasey, Wallasey Village is the last place you would think of.”
He said trying to find words of hope in “such a terrible situation” is challenging and acknowledged that the Christmas morning service would now not be “as much a celebration as it was going to be”. He said such violence “shows us that even though we celebrate Christmas, we’re still very far from those ideals (of peace) as a society”.
While neighbour Jenny Hough, 77, who heard the assumed they were celebratory Christmas fireworks. She said: “I heard the shots, I thought it was a firework actually because it was nearly midnight. I just thought it was people celebrating midnight on Christmas Day.”
On waking to the news of a fatality and multiple injuries, Ms Hough said: “I couldn’t believe it, when I looked outside I thought ‘oh crikey’. It’s a complete shock. My sister’s garden had been broken into. We suspect it was people trying to get out of the pub and trying to climb over the wall and into her garden to get out.”
Ms Hough said she had heard the pub was had been “so crowded” that evening. She described tight security in the area on Christmas Day morning. She said: “I’ve got people here opening their presents at the moment and they’ve all had to give their names and addresses and everything to the police before they could come in.”
The Lighthouse pub shooting is one of a number of high-profile gun attacks in Merseyside this year. Three people were killed within a week in August. Thomas Cashman, 34, is accused of shooting nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel dead in her own home in Dovecot, Liverpool.
The day before council worker Ashley Dale was shot in her back garden in the Old Swan area of Liverpool.She would have celebrated her 29th birthday on Wednesday 21 December. Police have made 15 arrests, but no one has been charged for her murder. On 16 August, Sam Rimmer was shot dead in Dingle. While in October, a woman in her 50s was dead with gunshot wounds at her home in Moreton, Wirral.
Anyone with information is asked to direct message @MerPolCC or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting log 1044 of Saturday 24 December.