Friends of a woman who was shot dead on Christmas Eve have said that she was dancing and enjoying a night out just moments before her death.
Elle Edwards, 26, was shot in the head at the Lighthouse Inn pub in Wallasey Village, Merseyside. Police have said that the beautician was not believed to have been the intended target of the shooting.
Four other men were also injured in the attack. Elle’s friends Meg and Jess told Sky News that they were enjoying a night out when they heard gunshots shortly after 11:50pm. Just minutes before Christmas Day, Meg and Jess thought the shots were fireworks.
Meg said before the attack Elle was “just so happy”. “We were all having so much fun,” she added.
“It plays on your mind, knowing whether she should have gone home. We had been dancing and singing and now she’s on the floor.
“I’ve got videos of us all I can’t stop watching. We were so happy. It happened so fast. I can’t get it out of my head. I wish we could have done more, but there was nothing else we could have done.”
“We went to go get a drink and we were at the bar and we just heard bangs,” Jess said.
“The second I heard Elle, I was like ‘it’s not, it’s not, it’s not.’ I could see her on the floor, people around her trying to help her. You just feel hopeless, you can’t help, you can’t do anything.”
Meg added: “We thought it was fireworks, with it being Christmas within in ten minutes. At the time it was close to midnight.”
Elle’s sister, who lives in Dubai, had left the venue sometime earlier, Jess said.
A 28-year-old man is receiving continuing medical treatment after being injured in the shooting. A 22-year-old man has also suffered an injury to his legs, a 24-year-old man has an injury to his hand and a 33-year-old man has an injury to his wrist.
A 30-year-old man from Tranmere has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. And a 19-year-old woman from Rock Ferry has also been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.
Chief Constable Serena Kennedy pledged on Tuesday that police would be relentless in finding those responsible for the fatal shooting in Wirral and bringing them to justice.
She said two people were currently being interviewed in relation to the murder of Ms Edwards, and officers had arrested four men overnight on suspicion of possession of a bladed article, a public order offence and drug offences.
A total of ten stop searches were also conducted as part of ongoing patrols in Wallasey and the surrounding areas.
“We are absolutely committed to finding those responsible for the callous and cold-blooded murder of 26-year-old Elle on Christmas Eve and our hearts go out to Elle’s family and friends,” chief constable Kennedy said.
“Elle was doing what any member of the community should be able to do on Christmas Eve – simply enjoying herself with friends and her sister and celebrating the festivities.
“As a mum of two girls, who are a similar age to Elle, I can’t begin to comprehend what they are going through right now, but I do know that they will carry the heavy loss of Elle for the rest of their lives and there will always be a major part of their lives missing.
“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.”
Chief constable Kennedy said she had visited Wallasey Village on Christmas Day, where she “witnessed first-hand the devastating impact” Ms Edwards’ death had on residents.
“The use of firearms, violence and intimidation has no place in our communities, and sadly we often see firearms being used to resolve petty and pathetic issues,” she added.
“These people are cowards, who think the only way to resolve an argument is through violence, they don’t have the strength or resolve to work things out and stop things from reaching such an ugly and devastating conclusion.
“Anyone involved in arranging this shooting, pulling the trigger and supplying the gun deserves to see every Christmas from behind bars .
“We will be relentless in our commitment to find justice for Elle and her family. I urge anyone who has any information about those responsible for this horrific shooting at a crowded local public house to stop and think of the heartache and pain that has been caused, and if you know who did this, do the right thing and let us know
Police are calling on anyone who was in the Lighthouse Inn at the time of the attack, or anyone with mobile or CCTV footage of what happened, to contact them urgently.
Anyone with information is asked to DM @MerPolCC or contact @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference 22000948723.