CCTV footage captures moment teen kneecaps man in 'revenge attack' in Liverpool

CCTV footage has captured a teenager shooting a man in the kneecaps outside a shop in a "revenge attack".

A series of three loud bangs can be heard in the video before the victim, Michael Costello, shouts in pain.

Mr Costello, 33, is then seen hopping down the street - with dark patches of blood forming around his left knee and right thigh - with a woman in a bid to escape.

Two figures in dark clothing can be seen jumping on an electric bike before speeding out of shot.

The incident occurred on Prescot Road, Old Swan, Liverpool on 11 December, 2021, outside a One Stop convenience store, Liverpool Crown Court was told.

Jailing gunman Joel Harvey, who was only 16 at the time of the shooting, Judge Clement Goldstone, KC said he believed Harvey had been preparing to shoot someone else when he was arrested six months later with a loaded gun nearby.

He told the teenager: "I have no doubt from the fact that the pistol was loaded and ready to fire that, had the police not arrested you, you would have used the pistol to settle another score with potentially fatal consequences.

"The facts of this case would make staggering reading if you were an adult, but it defies belief -even in these times of unparalleled street violence - that someone who was only 16-years-old when these offences were committed should be so steeped in gangland culture and be prepared to engage in open warfare on the streets of this great city without any concern or regard for the safety of its citizens in general, let alone those with whom you were in dispute."

Why are guns and gangs such a big problem on Merseyside? And what's being done to stop young people getting involved in organised crime?

We take a look at the issue on From the North.

Harvey, now 17 was arrested on 27 January 2022, but was released due to lack of evidence as the gun had not yet been recovered.

Before Harvey's arrest a second man, Lewis Cottage, in his 20s, had been shot in the chest on The Green, Broadgreen, on 16 January, with the same Grand Power self-loading pistol used to shoot Mr Costello.

But Harvey, now 17, was never charged with pulling the trigger in that shooting, despite the fact his DNA was discovered on one of two fired cartridge cases which were recovered by police from the scene.

Joel Harvey was convicted of wounding with intent, two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life among others. Credit: Liverpool Echo

He was later re-arrested on 18 June 2022 after armed police stormed a house he was at.

After hiding in the eaves of the loft more than three hours, he was then detained after a struggle, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

A bag belonging to Harvey, of Lindisfarne Drive in Croxteth, was recovered with the loaded gun inside it.

Henry Riding, prosecuting, said police suspected the shooting of Mr Costello was carried out "in revenge or retaliation" for an attack carried out by Mr Costello previously or due to a "pre-existing grudge".

The victim required surgery to both legs, but did not co-operate with the investigation and would not allow detectives to examine his medical records so the full extent of his injuries could be confirmed.

Harvey denied the charges but was convicted by a jury of wounding with intent, two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, two charges of possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life and possession of ammunition.

Appearing via video link to HMP Wetherby he showed no emotion as he was handed 12-and-a-half years detention plus an additional two-and-a-half years on licence.

After the sentencing Detective Inspector John Mullen said: "Harvey was involved in unparalleled street violence and organised crime at the age of just 16.

"Had our officers not arrested Harvey, he could have used this lethal weapon, which was loaded, to seriously harm others in Liverpool with potentially fatal consequences.

“Harvey showed complete disregard for the safety of those in our community and crossed the line in every sense by shooting a man on a public street.

"He will now spend a considerable amount of time in custody, reflecting on his reckless actions."