Teenage girls shot dead at hairdressing salon

Two teenage girls were shot dead during a party at a Birmingham hairdressing salon today.

Two other girls at the same function were also shot and are recovering in hospital.

West Midlands Police have launched a murder inquiry and are conducting a forensic search of the scene in Birchfield Road, Aston, after the incident at 4am. They were alerted after a "considerable" number of shots were heard at the premises.

Officers who arrived at the scene before paramedics tried in vain to revive the girls. The two other teenagers taken to an undisclosed hospital are not thought to have suffered life-threatening injuries.

A car riddled with bullet holes was later recovered nearby and is being forensically examined, while the road around the murder scene was sealed off and officers conducted house to house inquiries.

The police spokeswoman said: "It appears that the girls had been attending a private party at a hairdresser's on Birchfield Road during the night.

"This was attended by a number of young people. It is not yet clear what led up to the shooting and we do not know who is responsible for the crime."

Chief Superintendent Dave Shaw added: "Everybody, including officers with many years' experience, is appalled at what has taken place that has led to the deaths of two young girls."

Mr Shaw appealed for the local community, which he described as "close-knit", to help police in their search for those responsible for the shooting.

Witnesses have been asked to call 0845 113 5000.