Detectives say it is a “miracle” a 15-year-old girl survived being shot as she waited to catch a bus on her way home from school in Liverpool.
She was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after suffering a gunshot wound to her upper body in Upper Warwick Street, Toxteth, at around 5.10pm on Tuesday.
The girl is recovering in hospital in a serious but stable condition.
Police have made two arrests.
Detective chief superintendent Mark Kameen, of Merseyside Police, described the attack as “callous and cowardly” during a press conference at force HQ in Liverpool on Wednesday.
He added: “It is an absolute miracle, and credit to the NHS, that this young woman has survived.”
Mr Kameen said police are looking for a number of people riding up to four bikes, possibly electric ones.
All the suspects were wearing dark clothing and face masks or balaclavas.
Police believe shots were fired by “one or more” people on the bikes before they made off in the nearby North Hill Street area.
Mr Kameen added: “When the ambulance crew arrived, following calls from members of the public, they found a young girl who had suffered a gunshot wound to her upper body and some devastating injuries, as you can imagine.”
A short time after the girl was shot a 21-year-old man turned up at hospital with a gunshot injury to his arm, which police say could be linked.
Mr Kameen added: “The actions of those people responsible for this attack on a 15-year-old schoolgirl, who was waiting in a bus stop, to go home from school are utterly appalling and shocking, even with 29 years’ service.
“It shows a total disregard and contempt that they have for the decent, honest, law-abiding people who live, work in and visit this city.”
Mr Kameen said the shooting took place on a major road, currently with roadworks, and there would have been stationary traffic at the time of the rush-hour attack.
He appealed for anyone with dashcam footage or anyone who may seen something suspicious in the area or seen the people on bikes to come forward.
He said officers should never “be in a position where we are having to knock on the door of a family and tell them that their child has been shot”.
A 21-year-old man was arrested later on Tuesday on suspicion of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
A 60-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Police said despite the early arrests further information could be “vital and critical” to their investigation.
Superintendent Diane Pownall told reporters that family liaison officers are supporting the victim and her family.
She added: “I know that the community are quite rightly outraged and want to assist us with our investigations, as we know the people who are responsible for this incident clearly have no regard for the welfare of others and do not deserve to be walking the same streets.”
Anyone with information is asked to direct message @MerPolCC or @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555111 anonymously, quoting log 647 of March 1.