Four Teenagers Arrested Over The Murder Of 12-Year-Old Ava White In Liverpool
Four school children aged between 13 and 15 are currently being held on the suspicion of murdering 12-year-old Ava White after she was stabbed to death at a Christmas lights switch-on in Liverpool on Thursday.
12-year-old Ava White was attending a Christmas lights switch on when she was attacked just after 8:30 pm on Thursday.
Police have said that an argument broke out between a group of children which quickly escalated into a violent situation, with unconfirmed reports that Ava White had been stabbed in the neck.
Witnesses who were out Christmas shopping frantically attempted to perform first aid on the 12-year-old whilst they waited for the paramedics and police to arrive.
Ava was taken to Alder Hey Children's Hospital, but tragically was pronounced dead shortly after her arrival, the city center was busy at the time with people coming out to see the Christmas lights and a number of witnesses reported seeing four youths fleeing from the scene.
Merseyside Police have confirmed that four boys, one aged 13, two aged 14, and one aged 15 were arrested in separate locations in the Toxteth area of Liverpool, no murder weapon has been recovered yet.
Tributes poured in on Friday night for Ava, who was a student at the Notre Dame Catholic College in Liverpool, where she was described as a "much loved, valued and unique member of the school’s family".
Peter Duffy, the school's headteacher, said: "She was an incredibly popular girl with a fantastic group of friends. Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to Ava’s family and friends and all those affected by this utterly tragic event."
Rebecca Flynn, the head at Ava’s former school, Trinity RC Primary, added: "We are left with lasting memories of a bright and respectful little girl."
Ave's friends, who were out with her at the time of her killing and witnessed the attack are said to be receiving counseling and specialist care.
Liverpool was just recovering from the recent terrorist explosion outside the women's hospital that happened less than a fortnight ago.
Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs, from Merseyside Police, said that the large amount of CCTV in the city center was helping detectives piece together what had happened.
She said: "We know at the moment that Ava was with her friends in Liverpool city center and there has been a verbal argument which has escalated to an assault on her involving a knife."
However, she also appealed for anyone who had been in the area on Thursday evening and who might have any relevant phone footage to contact the police as all information would be extremely important.
She said: "There were an awful lot of people in town because of the switch-on of the lights, so we’re asking if people would just check their phones really. While taking photos they may have picked up something of significance that they don’t even know yet."
On Friday, hundreds of people including Ava White's friends visited the scene of her murder to pay tribute to her short life.
One 17-year-old, who did not wish to give her name, said her younger sister had been close friends with Ava.
She said: "She was just a bubbly character, so loving and caring. She came out with her friends to enjoy herself and I think it’s just wrong that this has happened."
Assistant Chief Constable Jon Roy said: "Our thoughts and condolences go out to Ava’s family, who are being supported by specialist Family Liaison officers. Their world has been torn apart and no parent should ever have to face that knock on the door from police officers to say that their child has died. Ava’s death should be a reminder to us all about the part that we each have to play in eliminating violence against women and girls."
Assistant Chief Constable Ngaire Waine added: "We will put everything we can to ensure we get justice for her but then I’m sure we will be looking at whether there were things we could have done, or our partners could have done, that might have made a difference, because we never want another 12-year-old, here or anywhere else, to be murdered when they are out and about having fun with their friends."
This is a tragic story and the case is still ongoing, we will update you when further details are made available.