A nine-year-old girl has been fatally shot in Liverpool and two other people are in hospital with gunshot injuries.
Officers began a murder investigation after attending a house in Kingsheath Avenue, Knotty Ash, at 10pm following reports that an unknown male had fired a gun inside the property, Merseyside Police said.
The nine-year-old girl suffered a gunshot injury to the chest and was taken in a critical condition to hospital, where she later died.
A man also suffered gunshot wounds to his body and a woman suffered a gunshot injury to her hand during the incident inside the house, the force added. They have both been taken to hospital for treatment for their injuries.
The force said house-to-house, CCTV and forensic inquiries are in the process of being carried out, while a cordon is also in place.
Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: “This is a truly shocking incident in which tragically a young and innocent girl has been shot and sadly died.
“Our thoughts and condolences go to her family and friends at this very difficult time. No parent should ever have to suffer the loss of a child in these dreadful circumstances.
“This crime is abhorrent and our communities must come forward and tell us who is responsible.
“This cowardly individual does not deserve to be walking the streets and I would urge those who know anything to speak to us and tell us what they know so that we can put the person responsible behind bars where they belong.
“We are carrying out a number of lines of inquiry as a matter of urgency and would ask for dashcam, CCTV or mobile phone footage from anyone who lives, works or was visiting the area of Kingsheath Avenue last night.”
It comes after a spate of killings involving guns and knives on Merseyside.
The same night as the Knotty Ash shootings, two men were arrested over the fatal stabbing of a woman in her 50s in Cherryfield Drive, Kirkby.
In a separate incident, 28-year-old Knowsley Council worker Ashley Dale died after being shot in the Old Swan area of Liverpool in the early hours of Sunday.
And police are still searching for two people who fled on electric bikes following the fatal shooting of a man in his early 20s in inner-city Toxteth late on August 16.
Merseyside Police have asked anyone with information on the Knotty Ash shootings to direct message @MerPolCC or call @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111 quoting log 1083 of August 22.