A man has been arrested after a major incident was declared following reports that shots were fired at three locations in Liverpool on Wednesday, 3 January.
At around 8.30pm police were called to the News and Booze store (known locally as 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. No damage was caused to the shop.
Just before 8.50pm police received a further call to report that shots had been fired outside the Showcase Cinema on Stonedale Retail Park in Croxteth.
It was reported that 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.
At the time of the incident the majority of people in the cinema were watching film screenings within the complex and they became aware of the incident when officers arrived at the scene and the complex was put into lockdown.
At about 10.20pm further reports were received that gunshots were heard at a property on Malpas Road. No one was injured during the incident.
Following the first incident armed response officers, together with officers from local policing, 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 to identify and arrest the person responsible.
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 male was aggressive and a Taser was deployed.
The man, who was arrested on suspicion of possession of a Section 1 firearm with intent to endanger life and robbery, has been taken to a police station in Merseyside where he remains in 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 nine hours.
“High visibility patrols will remain in the area to reassure members of the local community.
“Those affected by the incidents can get help from Victim Care Merseyside, who have trained staff who act as a single point of contact for all victims and survivors, offering access to free, confidential advice and support. This includes access to a range of specialist support services delivered by 10 independent local organisations providing bespoke, dedicated care to victims of crime. You can get further information from www.victimcaremerseyside.org
“Firearms have no place on our streets and we are committed to arresting those involved in gun crime and taking firearms off our streets.
“I would appeal to anyone who has information about those involved in gun crime, or who knows were weapons are being stored to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 so we can further reduce the harm caused by these weapons in our communities.”
“If you saw what happened or have any mobile or CCTV footage of the incidents please contact us as a matter of urgency as you may have information which is vital to our investigation. Any information provided will be acted upon.
“Information from our community is vital if we are to stop people carrying out such attacks in Merseyside that causes such violence on our streets.”
Anyone with footage or information is asked to DM @MerPol or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting log 928 of Wednesday, 3 January.