Liverpool shooting: Man arrested in dawn raid after shots fired at three locations in one night
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Armed police have arrested a man in a dawn raid following a trio of shootings in quick succession in Liverpool on Wednesday night.
Merseyside Police declared a ‘major incident’ after a man with a gun fired shots at a newsagent, the Showcase Cinema at Stonedale retail park and a home on a residential street nearby.
No-one was reported hurt during the three incidents and a 49 year-old man from Fazakerley was arrested by Armed Response Officers at 4.46am on Thursday morning at a property in Fazakerley.
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.
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.
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.
Stonedale retail park remains closed whilst officers continue their investigations.
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 remains in custody. The man has been arrested on suspicion of possession of a Section 1 firearm with intent to endanger life and robbery.
Assistant Chief Constable 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."
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."