Liverpool shooting: Gunman named and charged over triple shooting

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Leslie Garrett was arrested by armed police in a dawn raid and has been charged with a series of firearms offences.

A man has been charged and named by Merseyside Police after shots were fired at three locations in Liverpool on Wednesday night, including a busy cinema complex where staff were threatened.

Leslie Garrett, 49 years, from Ternhall Road, Fazakerley, has been charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life; two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence; attempt robbery and possession of ammunition without a certificate.

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Detectives investigating the trio of shooting incidents recovered a firearm, believed to be an assault rifle, from a property in Liverpool on Thursday night. Garret was charged on Friday and will appear at Liverpool and Knowsley Magistrates Court on Saturday (6 January).

Armed police swiftly arrested him in a dawn raid following the three incidents on the night of 3 January. Merseyside Police declared a ‘major incident’ after shots were fired at a newsagent, the Showcase Cinema at Stonedale retail park and a home on a residential street nearby.

Assistant Chief Constable Jenn Wilson, said: “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.”

First shooting: At around 8.30pm on Wednesday, police were called to Sangha newsagents on Lower House Lane, Norris Green, to reports that a man had entered the shop at about 8pm, threatened the store assistant and demanded cash before firing a gun and leaving the store empty handed. The shop assistant was not injured during the incident, but extremely distressed by the ordeal.

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A CCTV image of the man firing a gun at Sangha newsagents on Lower House Lane, Norris Green.A CCTV image of the man firing a gun at Sangha newsagents on Lower House Lane, Norris Green.
A CCTV image of the man firing a gun at Sangha newsagents on Lower House Lane, Norris Green. | CCTV

Second shooting: Just before 8.50pm police received a further call that shots had been fired outside the Showcase Cinema on Stonedale retail park in Croxteth. A man armed with a gun entered the cinema complex and threatened two members of staff in the foyer, before leaving. When he got outside he fired a number of shots in the air before escaping in a car. No one was injured during this incident and no damage was caused.

Third shooting: At about 10.20pm further reports were received that gun shots were heard at a property on Malpas Road. No one was injured during the incident.

Following the first shooting armed response officers, detectives and other specialists, along with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Service, were deployed to the area to provide reassurance and help track down the gunman.

A Merseyside Police cordon at the Showcase Cinema after the shooting incident. Image: Emily BonnerA Merseyside Police cordon at the Showcase Cinema after the shooting incident. Image: Emily Bonner
A Merseyside Police cordon at the Showcase Cinema after the shooting incident. Image: Emily Bonner | Emily Bonner

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.

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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.

The arrest: A 49 year-old man was arrested at a property in Fazakerley when warrants were carried out in the early hours of Thursday morning. He was tased after becoming aggressive and has now been charged with a number of firearms offences.