Two British teenagers aged 18 and 14 have been arrested after an 11-year old boy was shot dead in a Liverpool pub car park by a hooded youth riding a BMX bicycle, police said on Thursday.
Rhys Jones was playing football outside a bar in Liverpool, north-west England, when he was killed on Wednesday, becoming the latest victim in a recent wave of gun crime involving young people in British cities.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she was "shocked and saddened" by the shooting.
"I want people to know I'm serious when I say that where there is violent crime, we'll take tough action," she told the Daily Mirror newspaper in an interview published Thursday in which she outlined plans to make Britain's streets safer.
At least six teenagers have been killed in shootings in London since February, while the city of Manchester has also seen a string of gun attacks involving young people.
Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Simon Byrne accepted that gun crime was "part of everyday life in certain parts of Britain" at a press conference Wednesday night.
He appealed to local people to turn the gunman in, adding: "This is quite an awful crime, quite senseless, and the community holds the clue to solving this crime quickly.
"You can only imagine the heartache of the family that's been ripped apart by quite a senseless crime."
Many local residents have said they are living in fear of gun crime.
One woman, who did not give her name, said: "The kids pass the guns around each other as if they were football collector cards.
"There is no mystique about guns, there's no fear, they are just a status symbol. And now it seems anyone who wants one can get hold of one."
Rhys, who lived the suburb of Croxteth where the shooting took place, died in hospital Wednesday night after being shot in the neck.
Last Mod: 23 Ağustos 2007, 17:29