A 12-year-old girl, Ava White, has died following an incident in Liverpool city centre last night (Thursday, 26 November).
Four males – one aged 13, two aged 14 years and one aged 15 years, all from Toxteth have been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Officers were called at approximately 8.39pm to reports of an assault.
When officers arrived they discovered that Ava, who had been with friends, collapsed on the ground and a member of the public who witnessed the incident was giving first aid.
Paramedics attended at the scene and Ava was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where sadly she died a short time later despite the best efforts of medical staff.
A Home Office post mortem will be carried out to establish the cause of death.
Assistant Chief Constable Jon Roy, said, “Our thoughts and condolences go out to Ava’s family, who are being supported specialist Family Liaison officers. Their world has been torn apart and no parent should ever have to face that knock on the door from police officers to say that their child has died.
“We believe that Ava and her friends had been involved in a verbal argument which culminated in Ava being assaulted causing catastrophic injuries. And we understand that the offenders were then seen to run up School Lane across Hanover Street and on to Fleet Street.
“We have arrested four males aged, one aged 13 years, two aged 14 years and one aged 15 from Toxteth, on suspicion of murder and they are currently being interviewed at police stations on Merseyside.
“Liverpool City Centre was very busy at the time of the incident as the lights on the Christmas tree on Church Street had been officially switched on a short while earlier and we would appeal to anyone who was on Church Street who saw the incident, or may even have captured it on their mobile phone, to come forward.
“Anyone who witnessed the incident, or may even have filmed the incident, or who has information which could help us with our inquiries, is asked to DM @MerPolCC, message ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre on Facebook’ or @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111 with reference 0899 of 25 November.
“There will be additional officers in the city over the coming days and in the run up to Christmas who will be providing visible reassurance to those who live, work and visit the city.
“Ava’s death should be a reminder to us all about the part that we each have to play in eliminating violence against women and girls.
“Ava died on White Ribbon Day which is a global campaign to end violence against women, and yesterday partners from around the city joined together to mark the day, which is also the start of 16 days of activity designed to raise awareness of VAWG and show how we are working together to make sure that VAWG is something that should not be tolerated in any society.”
He added, “An extensive cordon remains in place at the scene (which includes Williamson Square, Tarleton Street, Church Street, Church Alley, School Lane crossing over Hanover Street on to Fleet Street) whilst forensic experts continue their examinations. We will endeavour to release the scene as soon as is practically possible, but we would ask members of the public for their understanding and patience whilst our investigations are being carried out so that we can bring justice for Ava and her family.”