Twelve arrested over Rhys murder

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The Independent Online

Detectives were tonight quizzing 12 suspects over the murder of schoolboy Rhys Jones.

Rhys, 11, was shot dead on August 22 last year as he walked home from football training.

Today - almost eight months since the football-mad youngster's killing - Merseyside Police carried out 10 dawn raids in the tough Croxteth neighbourhood.

Two boys aged 16 and 17, and two men aged 24 and 25, were arrested on suspicion of murder.

In total, nine men and three women were held at police stations across Merseyside for a variety of alleged offences, a force spokesman said.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, attempting to pervert the course of justice and possession of a firearm and ammunition.

A 49-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Also, a 17-year-old boy was being questioned for assisting an offender.

Three women, aged 50, 54 and 21, and a 22-year-old man, were arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Rhys was shot through the neck by a gunman on a bicycle on the car park of the Fir Tree pub in Croxteth Park - one of Europe's biggest estates.

His mother Melanie, 42, was rushed to the scene by a family friend and cradled him as he died.

Detectives believe Rhys innocently walked into an ambush as a member of one Liverpool gang aimed at a rival gang member.

Despite a BBC Crimewatch reconstruction and more than 30 arrests no-one has been charged over the boy's death.