Exactly 15 years after the death of schoolboy Rhys Jones, another child has been killed by gun violence in Liverpool.
Rhys, 11, was shot by 16-year-old Sean Mercer on his way home from football practice in Croxteth, Liverpool, on 22 August 2007.
On the 15th anniversary of his death, within miles of the pub car park where Rhys was fatally injured, a nine-year-old girl died after a shooting at a home on Kingsheath Avenue.
Assistant mayor of Liverpool Harry Doyle, who was the same age as Rhys when he was murdered, said it was "unthinkable" that another child had been killed on the anniversary of Rhys’s murder.
He said: "I remember the atmosphere in the city, and not just the city actually, nationwide, around the shooting of Rhys Jones was just absolutely awful.
"I remember my family being equally – I look at families this morning on the doorsteps – as worried and concerned and devastated.
"My mum wouldn’t let me walk to school around that time. It is unthinkable and it’s unbelievable that this has happened again 15 years on.
"We thought we’d rid ourselves of this violence and this week we’ve seen it return."
Everton fan Rhys was caught in the crossfire of a turf war between Liverpool street gangs, the Croxteth Crew and the Strand Gang from Norris Green.
Mercer, who was jailed for a minimum of 22 years for the killing, blasted three bullets across a pub car park after targeting gang rivals who had strayed on to his turf.
Rhys was caught in the line of fire and shot in the neck. He died in his mother’s arms a short time later.
Merseyside Police said the latest fatality, about three miles from Croxteth, happened when a gunman chasing a man forced entry into a property and opened fire.
The nine-year-old girl suffered a gunshot injury to the chest and was taken to hospital in a critical condition, but later died.
Her mother, who had opened the door after hearing commotion outside, was also shot.
A man also suffered gunshot wounds to his body during the incident.
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