Emily Spurrell thanks police and public after shots fired in Norris Green and Croxteth

Blue and white crime scene tape in front of a police vehicle.

Merseyside PCC Emily Spurrell has thanked police officers for their swift response and paid tribute to members of the public for their co-operation after shots were fired in Norris Green and Croxteth last night resulting in the lockdown of Showcase Cinema.

At around 8.30pm officers were called to the News and Booze store on Lower House Lane, Norris Green, to reports that a man had entered the shop at about 8pm, threatened the store assistant and demanded cash before firing a gun and leaving the store empty handed. The shop assistant was not injured during the incident.

Just before 8.50pm police received a further call to report that shots had been fired outside the Showcase Cinema on Stonedale retail park in Croxteth. It was reported that a man armed with a gun entered the cinema complex and threatened two members of staff in the foyer, before leaving. When he got outside he fired a number of shots in the air before escaping in a car. No one was injured during this incident and no damage was caused.

At the time of the incident the majority of people in the cinema were watching film screenings within the complex and they became aware of the incident when officers arrived at the scene and the complex was put into lockdown.

At about 10.20pm further reports were received that gun shots were heard at a property on Malpas Road.  No one was injured during the incident.

Following the first incident armed response officers, together with officers from local policing, detectives and other specialists, along with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Service, were deployed to the area to provide reassurance and to identify and arrest the person responsible.

A 49 year-old man from Fazakerley was arrested on suspicion of possession of a Section 1 firearm with intent to endanger life and robbery.

Merseyside Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: "The three firearms incidents in Norris Green and Croxteth last night were deeply concerning, and my thoughts are with the members of staff at both the News and Booze Store and the Showcase Cinema, as well as members of the public who were inside as events unfolded, and those living in and around Malpas Road.

“Thankfully, nobody was hurt, and I want to thank Merseyside Police officers and our partner organisations for the way they dealt with a fast-moving and challenging situation. Their swift response in securing the Showcase Cinema to keep people inside for their own safety, as well as the other two scenes, helped to minimise any potential risk to members of the public.

“I also want to thank those people for their co-operation and understanding during this process, this must have been a very distressing situation to have been caught up in.

“The investigation is ongoing, and an arrest has been made so I would appeal to everybody to refrain from sharing anything online that may hamper proceedings or bring unnecessary harm or distress to innocent members of our community.

“I would also urge anybody affected by last night’s events to contact Victim Care Merseyside. Our hub has specially trained staff who are on hand to provide free, confidential advice and support and can help with a range of bespoke support services to help those impacted by crime.

“Guns have no place on our streets and Merseyside Police is relentless in its approach to remove them from our streets. While thankfully we have seen a significant reduction in the number of firearms incidents across the region, we cannot stop in our pursuit of those individuals who seek to use dangerous weapons to spread fear and intimidation.

“If you have any information about this investigation or those involved in gun crime then I would ask you to do the right thing and contact Merseyside Police. Alternatively, you can speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”