Man shot dead in Toxteth on anniversary of gang murder

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The Independent Online
A man was shot dead in a Liverpool betting shop last night - almost a year to the hour after the murder of David Ungi sparked a bloody gang war in the city.

Owen Graham, 49, was gunned down in a betting shop in Granby Street, Toxteth, at 4.30pm and died at the scene. He lived at Grinshill Close, Toxteth.

The shooting came despite heightened police patrols in the neighbourhood because of fears of an attack to mark the first anniversary of the murder of Mr Ungi, a father-of-three.

Mr Ungi was shot after being ambushed in his car in Toxteth at 5.30pm on 1 May last year. The shooting was the catalyst for a string of tit for tat shooting incidents in the city over the last 12 months..

The latest killing brings to 44 the total number of shooting incidents on Merseyside in the last 12 months. Shots outside the Black George pub in Toxteth, where the younger generation of the Ungis drank two days after his death, signalled the start of a bloody year.

In early May, a hooded gunman burst into Vic's Gym in Kensington and opened fire, wounding 25-year-old Ricardo Rowe.

On 15 May a 31-year-old was found lying in pool of blood in a road in Netherley, suffering from gunshot wounds to the leg. Five days later Paul Foster, 20, was shot at his home in Toxteth.

Police issued an appeal for calm on 22 May after five people were injured in two shooting incidents in the city. Later that day shots were fired into a house in Anfield.

Four days later Lee Parry was shot by gunmen in Toxteth. Things quietened down until 28 July when shots were fired at the home of Kevin O'Rourke, wanted for questioning in connection with the Ungi murder.

Five shots were fired into John Phillip's car on 25 October as it was parked outside his home. Mr Phillips had been charged with trying to kill Ungi but the case had been dropped earlier in the month.

On 31 October Ronnie Ungi's home was sprayed with bullets, and Jason Speed was shot at his home in Huyton on 8 November. December saw a full scale gun war with five people shot, one fatally, and a gun attack on a police shop. The new year started with a 16-year- old boy being shot four times in Princes Avenue, Toxteth. Hours later a 27-year-old was badly wounded in nearby Upper Warwick Street.

Full hostilities resumed in March when Mr Phillips was shot four times in Toxteth in front of his three-year-old daughter and his wife. He survived and remains in hospital. On 30 March a 21-year-old woman was shot in Granby Street.

There is little sign of an end to the violence. April saw six people attacked by gunmen before what appears to have been a case of mistaken identity in which PC Stephen Hardy was knee-capped after two masked men burst into his home in West Derby. He was also shot in the arm.

Four more attacks last month left three victims shot and a car raked by gunfire. It was too soon for police to say if yesterday's shooting is connected to the Ungi gang war.

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