A shooting in a pub on Christmas Eve that killed a woman and injured several others was described as “heartbreaking”.
Erseyside Police said officers were called to the lighthouse in Wallasey Village around 11.50pm on Saturday following reports of gunfire.
Police said a young woman was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead.
Three men were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds and a number of other people were also injured, police said.
A neighbor who heard gunshots said she assumed it was celebratory Christmas fireworks.
Jenny Hough, 77, told the PA news agency: “I heard the gunshots… I actually thought it was fireworks because it was almost midnight.
“I just thought it was people celebrating midnight on Christmas Day.”
When Ms Hough woke up to the news of one death and multiple injuries, she said: “I couldn’t believe it. When I looked outside I thought ‘Oh crikey’. It’s a complete shock.
“My sister’s garden had been broken into. We suspect it was people trying to get out of the pub and climbing over the wall and into their garden to get out.”
Ms Hough said she heard the pub was “so busy” that night.
A spokesman for the lighthouse pub said the shooting was “a tragedy beyond words”.
In a statement, they said: “All our thoughts are with the friends and family of our customers and our hearts are especially with the family of our customer who lost her life.”
Wallasey MP Dame Angela Eagle said the incident was “heartbreaking” and urged anyone with information to contact police.
She tweeted: “This is heartbreaking news – My thoughts are with the family of the late woman and those injured. If you have any information, please report it to the police.”
The pub is “central” to the local community, said the pastor of a nearby church.
Wallasey Village United Reformed Church pastor Jeffrey Hughes said news of the fatal shooting will shock those in the area.
He told PA: “Wallesey Village is quite a lively area, it’s a beautiful part of Wallasey, it’s a beautiful part of the north end of the Wirral.
“We have a lot of young people, families in this area. The lighthouse is central in this community.
“It’s a shock. When we first heard the news of the shooting in Wallasey this morning, Wallasey Village is the last place you would think of.”
He said it was challenging to find words of hope in “such a terrible situation” and acknowledged that the Christmas morning service now “wouldn’t be as much of a celebration as it was going to be”.
He said such violence “shows us that although we celebrate Christmas, as a society we are still very far from these ideals (of peace).”
Wirral Council leader Janette Williamson said the shooting was “nothing short of despicable”.
Detective Superintendent David McCaughrean said: “This investigation is at a very early stage and we understand this is a truly shocking and devastating incident that took place just before Christmas Day in a busy place teeming with young people.
“We have a number of officers at Wallasey Village who are conducting extensive investigations to understand exactly what happened and taking immediate action.
“A woman tragically lost her life over Christmas while several people are being treated in hospital and our thoughts and condolences go out to the family of the victim.
“I would urge anyone who was at the Wallasey Village lighthouse last night and witnessed the incident or has cell phone or CCTV footage of what happened to contact us urgently as they may have information that are critical to our investigations.
“We believe the gunman exited the pub car park in a dark vehicle – possibly a dark Mercedes – shortly after the shooting and would appreciate if anyone who saw this contacted us immediately.”
Anyone with information is asked to send a direct message to @MerPolCC or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting log 1044 of Saturday 24th December.
The Lighthouse Pub said it had given CCTV footage to police.
A spokesman also said anyone who had bookings for Christmas Day would be contacted and given a refund.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/britain/woman-killed-in-heartbreaking-christmas-eve-shooting-at-pub-42243626.html Woman killed in ‘heartbreaking’ shooting at pub on Christmas Eve