Ava White: Death of 12-year-old at Christmas lights switch-on will 'shake' Liverpool says Assistant Mayor

Ava White
Ava White

A large part of Liverpool city centre has been cordoned off during the police investigations.

Officers carried out fingertip searches in and around Williamson Square.

Shops including Marks & Spencer, Primark and Lush on Church Street, one of the city’s main shopping streets, were closed on Black Friday due to the police cordon.

Assistant mayor of Liverpool Sarah Doyle said: “I am heartbroken to hear that Ava White has died.

“I know news of this tragedy will shake communities across our city.

“My thoughts are with Ava’s family, friends and school.

“We will do all we can to support the city and those affected over the coming weeks.”

A spokesman for Ava’s school, Notre Dame Catholic College in Everton, said staff were working to support students.

A further statement is expected to be released from the headteacher later today.

Flowers have been left at Church Street in tribute to Ava.

One bouquet had the message: “Rest in peace angel.”

Flowers near the scene in Liverpool city centre where 12-year-old Ava White died following an assault.
Flowers near the scene in Liverpool city centre where 12-year-old Ava White died following an assault.

Sarah Murphy, 42, who came with colleagues to lay flowers said: “I just cannot comprehend it, it’s absolutely devastating for the poor family.”

Merseyside Police assistant chief constable Jon Roy said officers believe the victim and her friends had been involved in an argument before she was attacked.

He 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.

“We believe that Ava and her friends had been involved in a verbal argument which culminated in Ava being assaulted causing catastrophic injuries. And we understand that the offenders were then seen to run up School Lane across Hanover Street and on to Fleet Street.

“We have arrested four males, one aged 13 years, two aged 14 years and one aged 15 from Toxteth, on suspicion of murder and they are currently being interviewed at police stations on Merseyside.

“Liverpool City Centre was very busy at the time of the incident as the lights on the Christmas tree on Church Street had been officially switched on a short while earlier and we would appeal to anyone who was on Church Street who saw the incident, or may even have captured it on their mobile phone, to come forward.”