A 26-year-old beauty salon worker was shot in the head while partying in a crowded English pub on Christmas Eve, police said.
Elle Edwards was with her sister and friends when gunfire broke out shortly before midnight on Saturday at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village in Merseyside, Sky News reported.
The barrage of gunfire killed Edwards and seriously injured a 28-year-old man, who was taken to hospital.
A 22-year-old pub patron suffered leg injuries, a 24-year-old man injured his hand and a 33-year-old man injured his wrist.
A client performed CPR on Edwards until first responders arrived. Edwards was rushed to Arrow Park Hospital, where she was pronounced dead a short time later.
Edwards worked as a beautician at a salon called Nova Studio in Wirral, where her colleagues mourned her violent death.
“Heaven has won the most beautiful angel,” read a post on the beauty salon’s Instagram page. “We are all heartbroken, thinking of your whole family at this time Elle.
“Thank you for all the laughter and happiness you brought into our lives, rest in heaven, angel, love from your team at Nova.”
Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs told a Christmas Day press conference that officers believed the attacker had fired towards the entrance to the pub and that Edwards was not the intended target. Police are still looking for the shooter.
Coombs added that detectives were trying to determine a motive behind what she described as a “cold-blooded shooting.”
“No family should face this ordeal at any time, but at Christmas, which should be a time of peace and celebration, it makes it so much harder to bear,” the Detective Inspector told reporters.
Speaking to Sky News outside the Lighthouse Inn, one of Edwards’ friends, who went by the name only Jess, recalled people initially thought they heard fireworks when the gunshots have burst.
“But automatically everything stopped and we felt like something was wrong,” she said.
Minutes after the shooting, a dark-colored car, possibly an A-Class Mercedes, was seen leaving the parking lot. Police said they want to speak to anyone with information about this car.
“We won’t rest until we find those responsible for this terrible, terrible crime,” Coombs said.
Edwards’ family members, led by his father, were seen laying flowers on a makeshift memorial outside the crime scene on Monday.
They left a note that read: “To my beautiful Elle, you are the light of my life, you will never leave.”