Friends of the woman killed in a Christmas Eve shooting at a pub said they were dancing and enjoying a night out when “in a split second” everything changed.
Elle Edwards, 26, was shot in the head at the Lighthouse Inn in Wallasey Village on the Wirral in Merseyside shortly after 11.50pm.
Her friends Meg and Jess, who did not give their surnames, told Sky News they thought the gunshots they heard were fireworks until they saw their friend lying on the floor.
“We went to go get a drink and we were at the bar and we just heard bangs,” Jess said.
“The second I heard Elle, I was like, ‘It’s not, it’s not, it’s not.’
“I could see her on the floor, people around her trying to help her.
“You just feel hopeless, you can’t help, you can’t do anything.”
Ms Edwards’ family are “devastated” and “inconsolable” after her death, police said in their appeal to the public for information.
Meg described the moment of her friend’s death as “a blur”.
“She was just so happy, we were all having so much fun,” she said.
‘We were so happy’
Ms Edwards’ sister, who lives in Dubai, had left the venue sometime earlier.
“It plays on your mind, knowing whether she should have gone home,” Meg said.
She added: “We had been dancing and singing and now she’s on the floor.”
Her lasting memory of the night will be the group “singing and dancing inside the Lighthouse”.
“I’ve got videos of us all I can’t stop watching,” Meg said.
“We were so happy.
“It happened so fast, I can’t get it out of my head. I wish we could have done more, but there was nothing else we could have done.”
Jess added: “I just felt grateful that I was still here but felt guilty because I was with my family on Christmas and she wasn’t. [Elle’s family] most definitely didn’t celebrate.
“It could have been anyone – we were incredibly lucky, but it shouldn’t have been her either.”
A ‘gorgeous soul’
Jess described her friend as a “gorgeous soul”.
“There are no words to explain it,” she said.
“That night we had with her was lovely, her sister had just come back from Dubai.
“There was never a time when we’ve been out where we’ve not had a ball.”