Elle Edwards shooting: police release third person arrested in connection with Wallasey murder

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Beautician Elle Edwards, 26, was shot to death at the Lighthouse Inn pub in Wallasey Village on Christmas Eve, while on a night out with family and friends.

Detectives investigating the murder of Elle Edwards have released the third person arrested in connection with her shooting.

The 26-year-old beautician was killed at the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village shortly before midnight on 24 December. She was not believed to have been the target of the attack in Wirral.

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On Saturday (31 December), Merseyside Police said it had released on bail a 31-year-old man from Tranmere, Wirral, who was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. It comes after Ms Edwards’ family described her as “the most beautiful and bright star” during a press conference on Friday.

A 30-year-old man from Tranmere, who was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, has been recalled to prison on licence. A 19-year-old woman from Rock Ferry – who was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder – has been bailed, police said.

Merseyside Police chief constable Serena Kennedy has said that anyone involved in the shooting should “see every Christmas from behind bars”. It’s the latest high-profile fatal shooting around Liverpool, after nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was gunned to death in her own home and council worker Ashley Dale was killed in her garden, within 24 hours in August.

Det Supt Sue Coombs said: “We have made two arrests in connection with this cold-blooded shooting. Elle’s family are still having to come to terms with her tragic loss, and our specially trained family liaison officers are supporting them. We will not rest until we bring those responsible to justice and I would appeal to anyone who has information to contact us.”

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While on Tuesday evening, Merseyside Police chief constable Kennedy vowed that the force will be “relentless” in the hunt to bring the killer of Ms Edwards to justice. “Detectives are continuing their investigations and they will be relentless in their work to establish what led up to the incident on Christmas Eve and who was responsible for this sickening and heart-breaking incident, which has ruined so many lives and culminated in the loss of a beautiful young woman,” she said.

Ms Kennedy branded Ms Edwards’ killers “cowards”, and said that they deserved to spend every Christmas behind bars. “The use of firearms, violence and intimidation has no place in our communities, and sadly we often see firearms being used to resolve petty and pathetic issues,” she said.

Elle Edwards worked at beauty salon, Nova. Image: Family handoutElle Edwards worked at beauty salon, Nova. Image: Family handout
Elle Edwards worked at beauty salon, Nova. Image: Family handout | Image: Family handout

“These people are cowards, who think the only way to resolve an argument is through violence, they don’t have the strength or resolve to work things out and stop things from reaching such an ugly and devastating conclusion. Anyone involved in arranging this shooting, pulling the trigger and supplying the gun deserves to see every Christmas from behind bars.

“We will be relentless in our commitment to find justice for Elle and her family. I urge anyone who has any information about those responsible for this horrific shooting at a crowded local public house to stop and think of the heartache and pain that has been caused, and if you know who did this, do the right thing and let us know.”

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Chief Constable Serena Kennedy from Merseyside Police. Credit: PAChief Constable Serena Kennedy from Merseyside Police. Credit: PA
Chief Constable Serena Kennedy from Merseyside Police. Credit: PA | PA

What happened?

Police were called to the scene shortly before midnight on Christmas Eve, with one neighbour saying they had assumed the gunshots were celebratory fireworks for the festive season.

A 28-year-old man from Beechwood on the Wirral remained in a critical condition on Christmas Day following the shooting, police said. In their update on Boxing Day, the force said he “continues to receive medical treatment”. Three other men who were hurt were not believed to have suffered life-threatening injuries.

Police previously said they believed a gunman fired shots towards the front entrance of the pub and that “minutes later, a dark-coloured vehicle, possibly an A-class Mercedes, was seen to leave the pub car park”. Officers don’t believe Ms Edwards - who was caught by bullet while on a night out with family and friends - were the target of the attack. She was declared dead at hospital.

Police officers on duty at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village, near Liverpool, after a woman died and multiple people were injured in a shooting incident on Christmas Eve. Merseyside Police said officers were called to the pub on Saturday following reports of gunshots. A young woman was taken to hospital with an injury consistent with a gunshot wound and later died.Police officers on duty at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village, near Liverpool, after a woman died and multiple people were injured in a shooting incident on Christmas Eve. Merseyside Police said officers were called to the pub on Saturday following reports of gunshots. A young woman was taken to hospital with an injury consistent with a gunshot wound and later died.
Police officers on duty at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village, near Liverpool, after a woman died and multiple people were injured in a shooting incident on Christmas Eve. Merseyside Police said officers were called to the pub on Saturday following reports of gunshots. A young woman was taken to hospital with an injury consistent with a gunshot wound and later died.

Ms Coombs appealed to anyone who was in the pub at the time 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”. They have also urged motorists and residents in the area with dashcam or CCTV to contact police, adding that “every bit of evidence is crucial to the investigation”.

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Officers arrested four men overnight on suspicion of possession of a bladed article, a public order offence, and drug offences, while 10 stop searches were also conducted as part of ongoing patrols in Wallasey and the surrounding areas, the force added.

 26-year-old Elle Edwards (family handout) 26-year-old Elle Edwards (family handout)
26-year-old Elle Edwards (family handout) | PA

Was the shooting gang related?

Asked whether the attack could be linked to an ongoing feud between gangs in Wirral, Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley said: “We have seen over a number of months some level of escalation here. There has been real relentless activity in relation to the arrest of a number of people who are now behind bars or remanded in custody, significant seizures of drugs and weapons.”

He urged families of those involved in organised crime to come forward and said: “You have blood on your hands too if you’re a bystander or if you want to live off the profits being gained.” Police have said Ms Edwards was not believed to be the intended target of the attack.

Mr Critchley added: “Over the last few years we’ve seen the lowest number of (firearm) discharges in Merseyside but one discharge is one too many and clearly this is not the first time in Merseyside we’ve seen fatalities, particularly those caught up who were in the right place at the right time, the offenders were not – they were doing the wrong things that can’t be tolerated in our society.”

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He said officers would work “relentlessly” to find out who was responsible. He explained: “We will not rest until we bring the offenders to justice.”

Elle Edwards (left) and a screen grab taken with permission from the Twitter account of @MerseyPolice (right) of officers making an arrest. Picture: PA wireElle Edwards (left) and a screen grab taken with permission from the Twitter account of @MerseyPolice (right) of officers making an arrest. Picture: PA wire
Elle Edwards (left) and a screen grab taken with permission from the Twitter account of @MerseyPolice (right) of officers making an arrest. Picture: PA wire | Screen grab taken with permission from the Twitter account of @MerseyPolice/ PA wire

Tributes to Elle Edwards

Flowers and other tributes have been laid at the scene of the shooting, which has also left one man in a critical condition and injured three others. A heart-shaped plaque bearing a pink and green floral design read: “Special Daughter, the happiness you brought in your own special way, will be remembered with love each and every day.”

Friends who were at the pub that evening described feeling “numb” when they learned Ms Edwards had been shot. They told Sky News they initially thought the gunfire was festive fireworks as the incident happened just before midnight, but they said things soon changed and “automatically everyone just stopped”.

Asked what memories they had of their friend, they described her as “so funny”, adding: “There was never a time when we’ve been out where we’ve not had a ball.”

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Ms Edwards is understood to have worked at a local beauty salon – Nova Studio – which posted on Instagram: “Absolutely lost for words… Heaven gained the most beautiful angel.

“We are all heartbroken, thinking of all of your family right now Elle, thank you for all of the laughs and happiness you brought into our lives, rest in paradise angel, love from your team at Nova.”

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