Four men arrested by detectives investigating the murder of Ashley Dale in Liverpool last month have been released by police.
The quartet had been taken into custody and questioned earlier this week following operations in Cumbria and Merseyside.
A 27-year-old man from Roby, a 40-year-old man from Huyton and a 35-year-old man from Old Swan were arrested on suspicion of murder and possession of a firearm. A spokeswoman for Merseyside Police said the three men had been released on conditional bail.
A 57-year-old man from Croxteth who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender was released under investigation pending further enquiries, the spokeswoman said.
Ms Dale was found in the back garden of her home on Leinster Road, Old Swan, with fatal gunshot wounds at around 12.40am on Sunday, August 21.
The Knowsley Council worker, 28, was taken to hospital but died shortly after. Merseyside Police do not believe she was the intended target.
During an earlier appeal for witnesses, police had released CCTV footage of a car being driven in the area, shortly before Ms Dale’s death.
Two men and two women arrested last month remain on bail in relation to the murder of Ms Dale.
Her death was one of three fatal shootings within a week in Liverpool, with nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel killed in her home in Dovecot on August 22 and 22-year-old Sam Rimmer shot in Dingle on August 16.
Tributes to Ashley Dale
Tragically, this is not the first time Ms Dales’s family have had to deal with the consequences of gun crime.
In 2015, Ms Dale’s half-brother, Lewis Dunne, was fatally shot in a case of mistaken identity. Merseyside Police do not believe the incidents to be connected.
Her family said: “Our hearts are broken into a million pieces. Ashley was a hard working young woman, who had her entire life ahead of her. Her laugh, smile and energy was infectious in any room.
“We can’t come to terms with how this would happen to a defenceless woman in her own home. None of this makes sense and our lives will never be the same again. A senseless crime that has torn a family apart. Justice needs to be brought.”
How to contact police
Please submit any information you have directly to the investigation team through the online portal: (Public Portal (mipp.police.uk). This will make sure that your information is received and acted on as quickly as possible by detectives.
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information with reference 22000615873.