Liverpool shooting: Everything we know so far on three shootings and arrest
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On Wednesday evening the nation's eyes were on Liverpool as a gunman was on the loose. Merseyside Police declared a "major incident" after shootings at three different locations in the city that night. Detectives believe the same man is behind all three incidents.
The first shooting occurred at around 8pm, when a man entered the News and Booze (known locally as Sangha Newsagents) on Lower House Lane in Norris Green. The man then threatened the store assistant and demanded cash, before firing a gun in the shop and leaving the store empty handed.
CCTV footage of this incident is currently circulating on social media, and shows the man wearing a hoody and a pair of flip flops, pointing a large gun across the counter before firing shots. Police were called to the scene at around 8.30pm.
The shop assistant was not injured during the incident, but was left extremely distressed by the ordeal.
Then, just before 8.50pm, police were called to a report of a gun being fired outside the Showcase Cinema on Stonedale retail park in Croxteth. It was reported a man with a gun had entered the cinema complex and threatened two members of staff in the foyer before leaving.
When he was outside the man fired multiple shots into the air before escaping in a car. Police confirmed no one was injured during this incident.
The majority of people in the Showcase Cinema were watching film screenings at the time of the second shooting and only became aware of the incident when officers arrived at the scene and the complex was put into lockdown.
One man was watching Wonka with his 14-year-old daughter, and reported that a member of staff told him that the man had aimed a shotgun at her. Craig Moorhead, from Walton, told BBC Radio Merseyside: "As we came out we heard all these sirens and the armed response units said we all had to go back inside. I was terrified for the kids - the young girl on the desk was in shock as she saw the guy firing the gun outside," he said.
People were then escorted by police to their cars in small groups. Stonedale retail park and all shops within the area remain closed while police investigate. Merseyside Police confirmed the incidents were not terrorism related.
At around 10.20pm a third shooting was reported, as gun shots were heard at a property on Malpas Road, not far from the Showcase cinema. No one was injured during this incident.
On Thursday morning, police confirmed a 49-year-old man from Fazakerley was arrested by armed response officers at 4.46am, when warrants were carried out at a property in Fazakerley. When officers attended the property the man was aggressive and a taser was deployed.
The man has been arrested on suspicion of possession of a Section 1 firearm with intent to endanger life and robbery. He remains in police custody.
Assistant Chief Constable Jenn Wilson, said: “I can report that a 49-year-old man has been arrested following three firearms discharges in the Croxteth and Norris Green areas last night. "Thankfully incidents like this, involving a single offender in three separate shootings in close proximity and quick succession, are extremely rare and this is the first time we have had to deal with an incident of this nature on the streets of Merseyside.
“The shocking and distressing impact these incidents will have had on the shop assistant, the staff at the Showcase Cinema and those filmgoers who found themselves in a lockdown situation in the complex after shots were fired outside the cinema and the residents of Malpas Road cannot be underestimated.
“Officers were on the ground immediately following the first incident and were able to respond swiftly to the subsequent discharges, and a male was identified. located and arrested on suspicion of all three discharges within 13 hours. High visibility patrols will remain in the area to reassure members of the local community." Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: "The three firearms incidents in Norris Green and Croxteth last night were deeply concerning, and my thoughts are with the members of staff at both the News and Booze Store and the Showcase Cinema, as well as members of the public who were inside as events unfolded, and those living in and around Malpas Road.
“Thankfully, nobody was hurt, and I want to thank Merseyside Police officers and our partner organisations for the way they dealt with a fast-moving and challenging situation. Their swift response in securing the Showcase Cinema to keep people inside for their own safety, as well as the other two scenes, helped to minimise any potential risk to members of the public."