Atmosphere was ‘tense’ in Merseyside pub before Elle Edwards was shot dead

Elle Edwards was murdered shortly after the atmosphere became tense in the pub where she was shot and regulars walked out when gang members turned up for Christmas Eve drinks.

Miss Edwards, 26, died after being hit in the head when a gunman opened fire at a crowd of revellers outside the Lighthouse Inn, Wallasey Village, Wirral.

She was not the intended target and it is believed that innocent beautician was caught in the crossfire of feuding drug gangs, responsible for a series of tit-for-tat shootings and violent incidents on the peninsular in recent months.

One drinker told the Mirror: ‘The lads involved are not from this area. That’s why a lot of the locals left about 8pm because they could feel the tension’.

Ian Critchley, Deputy Chief Constable of Merseyside police, revealed officers had yet to find the weapon – believed to be a semi-automatic pistol – which was used to fire up to 12 shots in quick succession. Elle was killed and four others were shot, including the intended target.

26-year-old Elle Edward died in a shooting at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village, near Liverpool, on Christmas Eve

26-year-old Elle Edward died in a shooting at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village, near Liverpool, on Christmas Eve

Elle Edwards, 26, was at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey on Christmas Eve when a gunman burst in and shot her in the head

Elle Edwards, 26, was at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey on Christmas Eve when a gunman burst in and shot her in the head

26-year-old Elle Edward died in a shooting at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village, near Liverpool, on Christmas Eve

Police officers at the Lighthouse Inn after the shooting. Witnesses said the atmosphere had turned sour when gang members arrived

Police officers at the Lighthouse Inn after the shooting. Witnesses said the atmosphere had turned sour when gang members arrived

Police officers at the Lighthouse Inn after the shooting. Witnesses said the atmosphere had turned sour when gang members arrived

Another witness said one young man was shot in the midriff. She said: ‘The manager ran to the lad and was pushing his stomach down. All the staff were helping. It was absolutely horrible. Everyone is devastated.”

Police are still searching for the gun used in the murder of Elle Edwards and have appealed to anyone who might be looking after the weapon to give it up.

The appeal came as detectives have applied for an extension to continue questioning two suspects arrested on Boxing Day evening.

A 30-year-old man from Tranmere is in custody on suspicion of murder and a 19-year-old woman from Rock Ferry are being held on a charge of conspiracy to murder.

The pair were arrested on Boxing Day evening.

Forensics officers in the bar, which was sprayed with bullets

Forensics officers in the bar, which was sprayed with bullets

Forensics officers in the bar, which was sprayed with bullets

Merseyside's police chief has pledged that her force will be'relentless' in bringing those responsible for the murder of Elle Edwards to justice. Pictured: Floral tributes at the club today

Merseyside's police chief has pledged that her force will be'relentless' in bringing those responsible for the murder of Elle Edwards to justice. Pictured: Floral tributes at the club today

Merseyside’s police chief has pledged that her force will be ‘relentless’ in bringing those responsible for the murder of Elle Edwards to justice. Pictured: Floral tributes at the club today 

Officers had 24 hours to question them before they applied to a magistrate for an extension of up to 96 hours, meaning that they will have to either charge or release the suspects by Friday.

It comes as Elle’s grief stricken father stood in silence this afternoon at the murder scene as he viewed floral tributes left for his daughter.

Tim Edwards was accompanied by his son and grandson as he looked at the dozens of bouquets left outside the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey village. He hugged a well wisher who laid flowers at the scene and wiped tears from his eyes as he left.

The road leading to the pub remained cordoned off. Revellers who had parked in the pub car park have been unable to retrieve their vehicles as it is also sealed off by a cordon of blue tape. Empty beer bottles still stand on the cluster of outside tables where the 26 year old beautician was killed after getting caught up in a drugs gang feud.

Merseyside Police Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley said the investigation into the ‘most callous and appalling murder’ of the 26-year-old beautician was ‘relentless’ and said anyone involved – not just the shooter – would be brought to justice.

Elle's father Tim Edwards, pictured, visited the murder scene today to inspect the hundreds of floral tributes left in honour of his daughter

Elle's father Tim Edwards, pictured, visited the murder scene today to inspect the hundreds of floral tributes left in honour of his daughter

Elle’s father Tim Edwards, pictured, visited the murder scene today to inspect the hundreds of floral tributes left in honour of his daughter

Mr Edwards, pictured right, was embraced by a member of the public on the street just yards from where his daughter was murdered

Mr Edwards, pictured right, was embraced by a member of the public on the street just yards from where his daughter was murdered

Mr Edwards, pictured right, was embraced by a member of the public on the street just yards from where his daughter was murdered

Tim Edward, pictured with his daughter Elle, while on holiday together

Tim Edward, pictured with his daughter Elle, while on holiday together

Tim Edward, pictured with his daughter Elle, while on holiday together

Tim Edwards visits the scene of his daughter's death at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village on Boxing Day to lay floral tributes

Tim Edwards visits the scene of his daughter's death at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village on Boxing Day to lay floral tributes

Tim Edwards visits the scene of his daughter’s death at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village on Boxing Day to lay floral tributes

The Lighthouse pub in Wallasey today, where the shooting happened on Christmas Eve

The Lighthouse pub in Wallasey today, where the shooting happened on Christmas Eve

The Lighthouse pub in Wallasey today, where the shooting happened on Christmas Eve 

One of the floral tributes described Elle as'radiant' and'an angel'

One of the floral tributes described Elle as'radiant' and'an angel'

One of the floral tributes described Elle as ‘radiant’ and ‘an angel’

At a press conference today, he revealed police have yet to recover the gun used in the shooting – thought to be a semi-automatic pistol. At least 12 bullets were fired in a matter of seconds.

Elle was struck in the head and four men – including one who was understood to be the intended target – injured.

The police chief appealed for anyone who might be hiding the gun to come forward.

Speaking outside the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village where the shooting took place he said:’ We will not rest until we bring the people responsible to justice.

‘By that I mean the person who pulled the trigger of the gun in the most indiscriminate way, anyone responsible for arranging, facilitating or harbouring this individual or continues to withhold information on who has done this, or where the weapon is that led to this tragic fatality.’

He said his officers were determined to find justice for Elle and her family.’

The Deputy Chief Constable did not comment on reports that Elle was innocently caught up in a drugs feud between two rival gangs.

He said:’ Not for the first time on Merseyside we have 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 and they cannot be tolerated in our society.’

The Deputy Chief Constable he made a point of saying police would target organised crime in the area and warned police were coming for those involved.

‘We have two people in custody already, they are on warrants of further detention, but I am still appealing for information in relation to anybody who knows who the person was responsible for pulling that trigger in the most indiscriminate, most appalling way, anybody who knows where the weapon is, anybody who has harboured or has any information at all.

‘We still want to hear from them.’

Mr Critchley said investigators were working ’round the clock’ to work out what happened before, during and after the attack.

He said: ‘We have made great strides forward but I am appealing for further information.’

He said work was ongoing to establish whether the weapon used in the attack, which injured four men, could be connected to any other incidents.

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley addressed the media earlier today from the scene. He said a 28-year-old man from Beechwood in Wirral remains in a critical condition following the shooting

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley addressed the media earlier today from the scene. He said a 28-year-old man from Beechwood in Wirral remains in a critical condition following the shooting

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley addressed the media earlier today from the scene. He said a 28-year-old man from Beechwood in Wirral remains in a critical condition following the shooting

A 28-year-old man from Beechwood in Wirral remains in a critical condition following the shooting, Mr Critchley said.

Asked whether the attack could be linked to an ongoing feud between gangs in Wirral, Mr Critchley said: ‘We have seen over a number of months some level of escalation here.

‘There has been real relentless activity in relation to the arrest of a number of people who are now behind bars or remanded in custody, significant seizures of drugs and weapons.’

He urged families of those involved in organised crime to come forward and said: ‘You have blood on your hands too if you’re a bystander or if you want to live off the profits being gained.’

Police have said Ms Edwards was not believed to be the intended target of the attack.

Mr Critchley said: ‘Over the last few years we’ve seen the lowest number of (firearm) 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.’

He said officers would work ‘relentlessly’ to find out who was responsible.

He said: ‘We will not rest until we bring the offenders to justice.’

The police chief said: ‘Our investigation will continue over many weeks and months to remove anyone involved in organised criminality, to remove guns from the streets.

‘Not to just remove the organised criminal but to bring to justice people who harbour them and who are happy to use the profits to live in a lifestyle that comes from preying on other people. We will remove the cash, the guns and people off the street.’

The police chief said Elle’s family will now suffer their loss for the rest of their lives, adding:’ I cannot comprehend what they are going through at this moment in time.’

Elle’s father Tim visited the scene of the shooting with his son and grandson shortly before DCC Critchley spoke out.

He stood with his head bowed as he read many of the floral tributes that had been left outside the pub.

The parents of Elle Edwards left a heartbreaking tribute to her after she was killed at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village on Christmas Eve. Her parents wrote:'To my beautiful Elle, you are the light of my life, you will never be gone'

The parents of Elle Edwards left a heartbreaking tribute to her after she was killed at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village on Christmas Eve. Her parents wrote:'To my beautiful Elle, you are the light of my life, you will never be gone'

The parents of Elle Edwards left a heartbreaking tribute to her after she was killed at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village on Christmas Eve. Her parents wrote: ‘To my beautiful Elle, you are the light of my life, you will never be gone’

Friends of Ms Edwards have since told of the horrors of the shooting at the packed pub on Christmas Eve, describing how she had been singing and dancing before hearing bangs ‘like fireworks’ before they saw her lying on the floor.

Jess, a friend who was with her when she was shot, told Sky News: ‘We went to go get a drink and we were at the bar and we just heard bangs, like fireworks. We had been dancing and singing and now she’s on the floor.’

‘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.’ 

Ms Edwards’s sister Lucy lives in Dubai but had flown home to celebrate Christmas with her family. She left the pub before her sister was shot dead.

In an emotional post on Instagram, she said: ‘My beautiful sister, my bestest friend, my second mummy and my rock. I love and miss you so, so much already. My Elle May.’

Friend Jess said: ‘People were around her trying to help her — but you can’t do anything. I just felt grateful that I am still here but felt guilty because I was with my family on Christmas and she wasn’t.’

Referring to Ms Edwards’s sister leaving the pub early, she added: ‘It plays on your mind — whether she should have gone home too.’

Meg, another friend who did not give her surname, said: ‘We had been dancing and singing. I’ve got videos of us all I can’t stop watching. We were so happy.’

Asked about memories they had of their friend, they described her as ‘so funny’, adding: ‘There was never a time when we’ve been out where we’ve not had a ball.’ 

Ms Edwards’s father Tim visited the scene on Monday to lay flowers among the growing sea of tributes left outside the pub, as her family described her as ‘the light of our life’.

‘To my beautiful Elle, you are the light of my life, you will never be gone,’ her parents wrote.

That day police and community leaders gathered to speak with and support residents of Wallasey Village.

Officers were joined by local councillors, representatives of Wirral Council and the office of the area’s MP Dame Angela Eagle ‘to show their support to residents during this tragic time’.

They called at people’s homes in the roads surrounding the village ‘to provide reassurance and give residents an opportunity to raise any concerns they may have’.

Jess (right), a friend who was with Ms Edwards when she was shot, told Sky News:'We went to go get a drink and we were at the bar and we just heard bangs, like fireworks'

Jess (right), a friend who was with Ms Edwards when she was shot, told Sky News:'We went to go get a drink and we were at the bar and we just heard bangs, like fireworks'

Jess (right), a friend who was with Ms Edwards when she was shot, told Sky News: ‘We went to go get a drink and we were at the bar and we just heard bangs, like fireworks’

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said those behind the shooting on Christmas Eve were'cowards' for resorting to such violence and said they'deserve to see every Christmas from behind bars'

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said those behind the shooting on Christmas Eve were'cowards' for resorting to such violence and said they'deserve to see every Christmas from behind bars'

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said those behind the shooting on Christmas Eve were ‘cowards’ for resorting to such violence and said they ‘deserve to see every Christmas from behind bars’

https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health/atmosphere-was-tense-in-merseyside-pub-before-elle-edwards-was-shot-dead/ Atmosphere was ‘tense’ in Merseyside pub before Elle Edwards was shot dead

Brian Ashcraft

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