Merseyside Police Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley has described the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Elle Edwards as “the most appalling and callous murder”.
The 26-year-old beautician was shot in the head at the Lighthouse in Wallasey Village as she celebrated Christmas with friends, dying later in hospital.
A 30-year-old man from Tranmere has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, while a 19-year-old woman from Rock Ferry has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.
Speaking outside the Lighthouse Inn Mr Critchley said: “To be murdered in the most horrific and brutal way by the most cowardly of actions is quite incomprehensible for us all and our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with Elle’s family, who will now suffer this loss for the rest of their lives.
“We’re working closely with them at this most difficult and distressing time for them and I cannot comprehend what they are going through at this moment in time.
“Our staff at Merseyside Police are working relentlessly to find out who is responsible for this appalling act.
“We will not rest until we bring the offenders to justice, and by that I mean the person who pulled the trigger of the gun in the most indiscriminate way in this public house on Christmas Eve, anybody who was responsible for arranging, facilitating or harbouring this individual and anybody who continues to withhold information on who has done this or indeed where the weapon is that has led to this tragic fatality.”
He added: “We will not rest. We will be tireless in our approach to find justice for Elle and her family.”
The officers also appealed for information on the gun used as detectives try to establish if it had been used in other crimes.
In a message to the families of those involved in organised crime, he said: “You have blood on your hands too if you’re a bystander or if you want to live off the profits being gained.”
“We will also continue to target anybody involved in organised criminality in the Wirral area. The small few cowards who seek to prey on the vulnerability of others for their own greed, we don’t tolerate that.
“Over the last few years we’ve seen the lowest number of discharges in Merseyside but one discharge is one too many, and clearly this is not the first time in Merseyside we’ve seen fatalities, particularly those caught up who were in the right place at the right time, the offenders were not. They were doing the wrong things that can’t be tolerated in our society.”
Tributes left at the ctime scene include a heart-shaped plaque bearing a pink and green floral design, read: “Special Daughter, the happiness you brought in your own special way, will be remembered with love each and every day.”
Ms Edwards is understood to have worked at a local beauty salon - Nova Studio - which posted on Instagram: “Absolutely lost for words... Heaven gained the most beautiful angel.”
Merseyside Police chief constable Serena Kennedy vowed on Tuesday that the force will be “relentless” in the hunt to bring the killer of Elle Edwards to justice.
Ms Kennedy said the force had been working round the clock on the murder investigation and to tackle serious organised crime.
She added: “Detectives are continuing their investigations and they will be relentless in their work to establish what led up to the incident on Christmas Eve and who was responsible for this sickening and heart-breaking incident, which has ruined so many lives and culminated in the loss of a beautiful young woman.” Three others were wounded in the shooting but their injuries were not deemed life threatening.