Fresh appeal as detectives identify potential witnesses in Aya Hachem murder

Aya, was shot in broad daylight on Sunday, May 17 as she was out shopping close to the Lidl supermarket on King Street in Blackburn. Credit: Family handout

Detectives investigating the murder of a law student in a drive-by shooting want to speak to a number of potential witnesses who may have vital information.

Aya Hachem, 19, was gunned down on a shopping trip near her home in Blackburn and was not believed to be the intended target.

The first of two shots fired from a passing vehicle hit a building, but the second struck the teenager in the chest on the afternoon of May 17.

Police have identified a number of people seen on CCTV footage in the area near to where Miss Hachem was killed.

In particular, officers want to trace:

- A woman in a purple jacket and blue jeans with white footwear, potentially trainers.

- An Asian man with a grey beard wearing a green coat, blue trousers, black shoes and a black hat.

- A man who was in a blue gilet/body warmer with a dark tracksuit jacket and red top underneath. He had on black bottoms with red Nike trainers and a fluorescent yellow hat.

- A white man wearing a blue and white Adidas tracksuit with a black cap. He was carrying a red carrier bag.

- One of two women who had dark hair worn in a ponytail with a red waist-length bubble-type jacket, dark blue joggers and a backpack. The other was white with strawberry blonde hair tied back in a ponytail with a scrunchie. She was also wearing black leggings and white trainers. Both women may be Romanian.

Aya Hachem, 19, was a second year law student at the University of Salford. Credit: Family handout

Detective Superintendent Andy Cribbin, said: "This has been a vast and complex investigation in terms of scale, number of arrests and the number of witnesses we have spoken to. We still have a large, dedicated team of detectives working on the inquiry.

"I would like to reassure the people we've described that we are purely looking to speak to them as witnesses because they may have seen or heard what happened before, during or after Aya was shot. Their information could prove vital to our investigation."

Earlier this week, a 30-year-old man from Manchester was arrested in Spain on suspicion of Aya's murder and is awaiting extradition.

A 33-year-old man from Manchester arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has been released pending further inquiries.

Six men and one woman have already been charged with murder, alleged to have arisen out of a dispute between two rival tyre firms, RI Tyres and Quick Shine.

The defendants are also accused of the attempted murder of the alleged intended target, the owner and manager of Quick Shine.

  • Information or video footage in relation to the inquiry can still be sent to police through the Major Incident Public Portal at here.

  • Anybody with any other information can contact the force on 101, quoting log number 0412 of May 18, or anonymously through independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or online at