A coroner has described shooting victim Elle Edwards as a “beautiful young woman” who had a “bright future ahead” as she opened an inquest into her death.
The 26-year-old beautician was shot at the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Wirral, shortly before midnight on December 24.
Opening the inquest at the Gerard Majella Courthouse in Liverpool on Thursday, coroner Anita Bhardwaj said: “This is such a tragic death of a beautiful young woman who clearly had a bright future ahead of her and so much to offer both in her career as well as personally.
“We all appreciate, I think, as parents, nothing can prepare us for the death of a child in any way, shape or form and I think we can only imagine what the parents and family are going through.”
This is such a tragic death of a beautiful young woman who clearly had a bright future ahead of her and so much to offer both in her career as well as personally
Coroner Anita Bhardwaj
The inquest heard Ms Edwards, whose occupation was given as dental nurse/beautician, was pronounced dead at Arrowe Park Hospital on Christmas Day after being taken there from the pub.
Ms Bhardwaj said: “Others were also shot at that location but sadly Elle was the one that lost her life.”
A provisional cause of death was given as gunshot wounds to the head.
Ms Bhardwaj said she would release Ms Edwards’ body to her family.
Toxicology analysis would be carried out before a full post-mortem report, she said.
The inquest was adjourned to May 5, when Ms Bhardwaj said there would be an update on the police investigation.
Detectives have appealed for information following the shooting, in which Ms Edwards is not believed to have been the intended target.
Earlier this week, the force said nearly 150 pieces of intelligence from the public, including information about individuals and wider tensions, had been passed on.
Three people have been arrested so far in connection with the murder.
A 31-year-old man from Tranmere, Wirral, and a 19-year-old woman from Rock Ferry, Wirral, both held on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, were later bailed pending further inquiries.
A 30-year-old man from Tranmere, who was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, was recalled to prison on licence.