Parents of murdered boy renew appeal

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The Independent Online

The parents of the murdered schoolboy Rhys Jones have renewed their appeal for information about their son's killer. Speaking four weeks to the day after their football-mad son was shot, Stephen and Melanie Jones urged anyone with any knowledge of the shooting to come forward.

Mr Jones, 44, said: "Next week will be a really traumatic week. It's our 20-year wedding anniversary on Wednesday and Thursday is Rhys's birthday, so it's going to be really traumatic. We are just keeping strong for each other but we need public support to bring this injustice to a close."

The 11-year-old Everton fan was killed in Croxteth, Merseyside, when a teenage gunman shot him through the neck.

Mrs Jones, 41, who found Rhys in a pool of blood in the car park of the Fir Tree pub, said: "Rhys wanted a new mobile phone for his birthday. We always went for a Chinese meal for his birthday, it was his favourite meal. I don't know if I can go out next week."

Mr Jones, a supermarket night shift manager, said: "Four weeks ago we were a normal happy family, with us, Rhys and his older brother, Owen. All that changed on that Wednesday when Rhys was on his way back from a game of football and lost his life. There are people out there who know who has done it and I appeal for them to come forward."

Mrs Jones urged a mystery caller who spoke to the police at 11.10pm on Saturday 25 August to get back in touch. And she appealed to a woman driving a red car with a baby seat in the back along Fir Tree Drive North at 7.35pm on the night of Rhys's death to call police. It is thought she may have seen the killer.

Mrs Jones said: "The only reason we are here today is because we need help. We need the person who killed our son to be brought to justice to give us a bit of peace."

Detective Superintendent Dave Kelly, who is leading the inquiry,said: "The work we have carried out has been tireless and we are relentlessly pursuing those responsible for Rhys's killing. No one should be allowed to pick up a gun and take the life of an innocent child and ruin the life of his family."