Merseyside Police Investigate Firearms Incident

11th April 2015

Detectives are appealing for witnesses to come forward following a firearms incident in Whiston last night (Friday, 10 April).

Four men arrested in connection with the incident last night are still being questioned by detectives

Detectives believe the incident started in Lyneham at about 6pm when initial shots were fired between the occupants of two cars - a VW Passat and a dark coloured Audi. It is believed that the cars were then driven out of Lyneham at speed along Driveway and into Copperwood Drive where further shots are believed to have been discharged. There are some witnesses reports that shots may have been fired as the cars were driving between the two locations.

Police patrols were deployed to the area immediately and found a VW Passat, believed to have been one of the cars involved, parked at Whiston Hospital with damage to the rear window.

Enquiries at the hospital led officers to arrest three men, aged 21 and two aged 20 years from Whiston, believed to have been on board the Passat and a 17-year-old male from Huyton, was arrested nearby a short time later.

A 24-year-old local man, who was in the Vauxhall Passat, was seriously injured during the incident, which is believed to have been a dispute between two criminal groups, and he is currently being treated in hospital, where his condition is described as critical but stable. Another man, aged 21 years, who was also in the Passat was injured, but his injuries are not described as serious.

An extensive police investigation led by the force's Matrix Serious Organised Crime Unit and supported by Knowsley neighbourhood officers and other specialist teams is ongoing and house-to-house inquiries are being carried out.

Extensive crime scene investigations are being carried out at three locations (Lyneham, a grassed area on Driveway and Copperwood Drive).

Detectives are treating the shooting as a targeted incident between two criminal factions and are actively searching for the other car involved and its occupants.

Superintendent Richie Salter has reaffirmed the force's commitment to local residents to find those involved in the incident and put them before the courts.

Supt Salter, said: "People who are prepared to fire guns on our streets on a nice spring evening, when residents are going about their day-to-day business, have a complete and utter disregard for the consequences of their actions.

"Local residents are quite rightly shocked by what happened and we cannot, and will not, let people involved in this type of behaviour get away with it. The actions of those involved are incomprehensible and reckless in the extreme. We are fortunate that no members of the public, who were going about their daily business were injured.

"The local community has my absolute assurances that significant resources are being used to identify all the individuals involved and bring them to justice.

"We need to find all those involved and I would appeal to anyone who witnessed the incident, or who has any information which could help us with our investigation to come forward. People who witnessed this incident or have heard about it since will understandable be shocked, appalled and worried that it could happen in their own community.

"I want to reassure them that they will see a large and highly-visible police presence this weekend and those officers will be there to address any concerns they might have.

"We will relentlessly pursue criminals who use guns and violence to settle criminal disputes and intimidate or harm other people but we need the public's help.

"If you have any information at all that can help the police investigation, please call our gun crime hotline on 0800 230 0600 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

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