POLICE can confirm the man who died following a fatal shooting in Birkdale on Monday 16 March has been formally identified as Stephen Maguire, 27, from Birkdale.

Emergency services were called to an address in Guildford Road shortly after 11.35pm to reports that a 27-year-old man had been shot.

Our enquires are at an early stage, but we believe this was a targeted attack involving up to four male offenders and our investigation is centred in and around the property on Guildford Road.

We believe a woman and six-year-old child were reportedly upstairs inside the house as the shooting took place.

Officers and the North West Ambulance Service attended and the victim was treated for critical injuries to his leg and abdomen. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later

It was reported the offenders, described as wearing facial coverings and dark clothing, made off from the scene in a dark coloured Mercedes in the direction of New Cut Lane. It is also believed at least one of the offenders left on a scrambler bike.

A cordon remains in place and officers are in the Guildford Road area continuing house-to-house, forensic and CCTV enquiries.

Detective Superintendent Richie Salter said: “Stephen Maguire was a young man who has lost his life in a tragic and violent way. His family and friends will now have to slowly come to terms with a future without him, and our thoughts go out to them. They will receive our full support.

“This was a truly shocking incident and our investigation to establish the full circumstances and find those responsible continues.

“It is all the more shocking because a child was nearby at the time, inside the property which is at the centre of our enquiries. Although we do not believe they saw what happened, there is no doubt what followed must have been an extremely traumatic time for all those involved.

“This has also caused significant distress in the wider community, and we call upon that community to come forward with any information that might help us find those who carried out this brutal attack and bring them to justice.

“You may have seen or heard suspicious behaviour in the Guildford Road area last night, vehicles fitting the descriptions around the time of the incident or heard people talking about what took place. I would urge you to cast your mind back and please report any information to police.

“Our officers will remain in the area today providing reassurance and gathering information.

“Gun crime will not be tolerated by Merseyside Police or the communities we serve and I again ask anyone with information on this incident, or dashcam or CCTV footage from Guildford Road or the surrounding area, to please get in touch as it could prove vital to the investigation.”

Anyone with information should contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’. You can also call 101 quoting incident reference 20000166174 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their website here: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously

You can also leave information via the UK Police Major Incident Public reporting site here– mipp.police.uk by clicking on the Merseyside Police badge.