Gangland call for ceasefire after killing of Elle Edwards in pub shooting

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Gangland call for ceasefire after killing of Elle Edwards in pub shooting
Gangland call for ceasefire after killing of Elle Edwards in pub shooting

PEOPLE linked to Merseyside gangsters are pleading for a halt to the horrific gun crime that is tearing the area apart.

Their plea for a ceasefire follows the fatal shooting of beautician Elle Edwards in a packed pub on Christmas Eve.

Today, her devastated family lit candles at a local church in memory of the 26-year-old, who dad Tim has called “the most beautiful and bright star”.

Detectives believe Elle was not the intended target when a gunman sprayed bullets into the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Wirral.

But her tragic murder is not an isolated incident – there have been four gun death in recent months in Merseyside, including a girl aged just nine.

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Now, locals close to members of the crime groups involved are calling for the gun violence to stop.

Gangland call for ceasefire after killing of Elle Edwards in pub shootingGangland figures have said enough is enough after the Christmas Eve shooting of Elle Edwards

One said they feel bewildered and frightened – and fear one of their loved ones could be next because the situation shows no sign of getting better.

Another person with gang links said people can no longer be silent and there are individuals at the top who could sit down and bring this to an end.

It came as police said they are aware of a video circulating on social media showing two men raining down multiple punches and kicks on a third man. The footage, which appears to be from a doorbell camera, shows the two men jump from a car and chase the third.

As they attack him, a woman can be heard shouting for them to stop.

It is believed the footage was taken several days before Elle’s death. Police said they were aware of the footage but would not comment on any alleged connections between the incident and the shooting.

Gangland call for ceasefire after killing of Elle Edwards in pub shootingThere have been calls for a ceasefire following Elle's death (Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

Despite the high-profile tragedies, gun crime in the Liverpool area has fallen in the past five years. There were 283 gun crimes reported in 2021, compared with 241 in 2022, up to December 12.

Yet gangs have access to a terrifying arsenal of weapons – with guns available to buy online for as little as £500. Criminals can buy Glock pistols on encrypted messenger sites like Telegram, where the weapons are shipped in parts to the UK.

Automatic weapons are also smuggled in Northern Ireland, while shotguns are stolen to order from licensed owners living in remote farmhouses.

Weapons have also been stashed in cemeteries for easy and quick access. Merseyside Police found one in October they believe is linked to shootings. Sources said three-quarters of messages about firearms discovered in a national police hack of criminals’ phones showed links to Meryseyside or the wider North West.

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A source close to the gangs said: “There’s a network of criminal gangs in Liverpool, Manchester and Salford who can access military-grade hardware – sub-machine guns, automatic weapons, semi-automatic pistols, even explosives.

“Most of them have connections in places like Northern Ireland who have the access and can bring the weapons in. They’re being sourced in the US and shipped over in parts”.

Gangland call for ceasefire after killing of Elle Edwards in pub shootingThe 26-year-old died as a result of her injuries (PA)
Gangland call for ceasefire after killing of Elle Edwards in pub shootingPolice are investigating the fatal shooting in Wallasey Village (Merseyside Police)

This week, Elle’s heartbroken dad, photographer Tim, sat beside Det Supt Sue Coombs at Merseyside Police as the senior investigating officer read a family statement describing the horrific loss of “beautiful” Elle.

It said: “She was only just getting started. Christmas and our family will never be the same again without her. She was the glue that held this big family together.”

DS Coombs appealed for any information about the location of the murder weapon and a black Mercedes believed to have been used in the shooting. Three people have been arrested in connection with Elle’s murder. A 30-year-old man from Tranmere held on suspicion of murder and attempted murder has been released under investigation but also recalled to prison for breaching the terms of his licence.

A woman aged 19, from Rock Ferry, who was held on suspicion of conspiracy to murder has been released on bail. And a man from Tranmere, 31, arrested for the same alleged offence, was out on police bail pending further inquiries yesterday.

Gangland call for ceasefire after killing of Elle Edwards in pub shootingNine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was fatally shot at her home in Kingsheath Avenue, Liverpool, earlier this year (PA Wire/handout)
Gangland call for ceasefire after killing of Elle Edwards in pub shootingOlivia's killing sparked outrage across the world (PA)

Elle’s death was the latest in a string of shooting horrors in the Merseyside area. In August, Sam Rimmer, 22, died in Dingle after being blasted several times.

Five days later Ashley Dale, 28, was shot dead by a man who burst into her home in Old Swan. No one has been charged in either case.

One night later, nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was gunned down in her home in Dovecot. Thomas Cashman, 34, from West Derby, has been charged with her murder.

And in October, Jackie Rutter, 53, was shot in the doorway of her home in Moreton. Her family believe she was the victim of a revenge attack and to date, no one has been charged.

Phil Cardy

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