Liverpool

Bootle teenagers shot in gang feud, police say

Police at the scene in Bootle
Image caption Detectives are linking the shootings to previous attacks in the Bootle area

Police investigating the shooting of four Merseyside teenagers believe the attack was part of a feud between two rival gangs.

A 17-year-old boy was reported to have been shot in Akenside Street in Bootle just after 23:30 BST on Saturday.

Soon afterwards two other 17-year-olds and a 15-year-old boy were treated for shotgun injuries. The youngest remains in hospital in intensive care.

Police believe the incident could have been sparked by the theft of a bike.

They are linking the shootings to previous attacks in the Bootle area.

Det Ch Supt Paul Richardson, of Merseyside Police, said the four were shot at from a railway line above Akenside Street.

'Trivial'

He said: "We are receiving information from the community that this very possibly is over the theft of a scrambler or trials bike.

"That a fallout as trivial as that has led to these events, well it's unbelievable really."

Police are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in the Akenside Street and Violet Road area, or the surrounding streets or park areas, between 22:30 and 23:30 BST on Saturday.

They are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have seen young people armed with sticks or similar looking weapons.

Police believe the victims may have been to a music event at the Albert Dock in Liverpool earlier in the day and then to a house party in Seaforth, north Liverpool, with a group of girls.

Detectives are keen to speak to these girls.

Mr Richardson said he believed two shotguns were being used in the recent spate of shootings in the area.

"My primary objective is to get those guns off the streets," he said.

Officers are now searching a disused railway embankment where they believe gangs are storing firearms.

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