Ava White’s death has shocked and saddened the city.
Ava, 12, was out with friends in Liverpool city center close by Kirkegade Thursday, Nov. 26, when police believe they were involved in a “verbal altercation,” which resulted in the young girl receiving “catastrophic injuries.”
The officers arrived at the scene at 20.39 to reports of an assault and they discovered that Ava was collapsing on the ground and a member of the public witnessing the attack provided first aid.
Ava was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where she sadly died shortly afterwards despite the best efforts of the medical staff.
The 8th-grader at Notre Dame Catholic College was described as “unique” and “hugely” popular.
Four boys was arrested on suspicion of murder, including a 13-year-old, two 14-year-olds and a 15-year-old, all from the Dingle area.
The teens were believed to have run up School Lane across Hanover Street and on to Fleet Street away from the scene and were later arrested at various locations.
On Friday, Detective Sue Coombs, who is leading the investigation, and Assistant Police Officer Ngaire Waine held a briefing with the media at the new police headquarters, confirming that a knife is believed to have been the used weapon.
When asked whether the murder weapon had been found, It replied. Supt Coombs said, “Not yet.”
She said the force could not yet comment on whether Ava and her attackers were known to each other, but said: “There is clearly a lot of CCTV in the center of Liverpool, so we can say that there has been a verbal altercation and there has been an assault.
The criminals ran up School Lane, across Hanover Street and into Fleet Street.
“Some of the difficulties are that a number of the witnesses are young people and have been extremely concerned.
“The rest of the details may take a little longer to come up; because we have to treat these child witnesses very carefully, today and all weekend they will need special treatment, where we interview them with appropriate adults, and so on.
“We have not yet spoken properly to any of the real key witnesses, the children, but they are likely to fill these gaps.”
It.Supt Coombs said teams of detectives would trawl through “hundreds of hours of CCTV”.
She said: “A large part of the evening was captured on CCTV, I think it will be, of different qualities is probably the only real accurate way to describe it.
“It will be literally hundreds of hours of CCTV because of so many cameras, and of course the time scale we will be interested in, from the first time we arrived at the city center and all the way to the last arrests.”
The force also encourages anyone who may have cell phone recordings of images from around the stabbing to get in touch.
It.Supt Coombs said, “It’s actually one of our big appeals, there were an awful lot of people in town because of the lights on, and if people just wanted to check their phones really and take pictures, they might have chosen something of importance, but they do not even know it yet, and to contact us.
“We have not yet spoken to any of the real key witnesses, the children, correctly, they are likely to fill the gaps.”
Back in 2019, Ava White won a ‘Peace Ambassador’ award from the Peace Foundation, which was formed by activist Colin Parry OBE, whose son was killed by an IRA bomb in Warrington.
Since the news of Ava’s death, hundreds of people have hailed her on social media.
One of those who paid tribute was Rebecca Flynn, headmistress at The Trinity RC Primary School, which Ava attended before moving on to Notre Dame.
She said, “Ava was a much-loved student who was a popular, caring member of our school community. Our prayers and thoughts go out to Ava’s family and her friends.
“We are left with lasting memories of a bright and respectful little girl.”
Dozens of flowers were also laid on one of the benched areas on Church Street, close to where the incident took place.
A card attached to flowers read “Rest in peace beautiful girl! With love for the whole family and friends”, with another saying “Sleep well Ava, send love and strength to your family.”
Another note said: “RIP Babygirl xx”
Anyone who witnessed the incident, or perhaps even filmed the incident, or who has information that can help police with their inquiries, please send a message to @MerPolCC, the message ‘Merseyside Police Contact Center on Facebook’ or @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111 with reference 0899 of 25 November.
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