A 12-year-old girl stabbed to death in Liverpool city centre received a peace ambassador award from a charity in 2019, it has emerged.
Ava White was killed after an alleged argument following a Christmas event on Thursday evening.
Four boys – one aged 13, two aged 14 and one aged 15, all from the Toxteth area of the city – have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in police custody.
The Peace Foundation, a charity set up by a couple whose 12-year-old son was killed by an IRA bomb in Warrington in 1993, described Ava’s death as a “tragic loss”.
“Ava White who was stabbed to death in Liverpool received a ‘Peace Ambassador’ award from Wendy Parry and I on behalf of Peace Foundation in 2019. What a tragic loss for her family. Our Peace Foundation will be at her school again on Monday. RIP Ava,” tweeted Colin Parry, who founded the charity with his wife Wendy.
Merseyside Police said Ava was attacked with a knife following an argument in the city’s Church Street – but no weapon has yet been found.
Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs, who is leading the investigation, said on Friday: “We have a number of witnesses, including family members and friends.”
She said the force was scouring CCTV footage and a small group of young people who were present should now come forward to help detectives “seek clarity”.
Liverpool’s mayor Joanne Anderson said the city had been left “absolutely devastated by what has happened”.
She tweeted: “I want to send a message of support to all those who share feelings of sadness and grief in Ava White’s death. I know these feelings will extend across our city. I will do all in the coming days and weeks to address the concerns and worries our residents will understandably have.”
Paying tribute, Rebecca Flynn, headteacher at The Trinity RC primary school which Ava attended said: “Ava was a much-loved pupil, who was a popular, caring member of our school community. Our prayers and thoughts are with Ava’s family and her friends.
“We are left with lasting memories of a bright and respectful little girl.”
On Saturday morning, Merseyside Police said they had no further update but appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident, or may even have footage of the attack, to contact them.