Date: 7 Oct 2018
Carl Russell was shot in a car by a man on a bicycle in Belle Vale, Liverpool on Sunday 7 October 2018.
He had been on day-release from prison for a burglary at the time and had been going with his girlfriend to their family home. It was said that he had only been allowed out for a few hours.
He had been shot multiple times in his head and body. He collapsed in the street and died soon after.
He had been sitting in the passenger seat at the time with his girlfriend driving and they were about to get out when the cyclist rode up to the car and shot him multiple times shortly before midday at 11.20am. He had been just a few metres away from his house at the time.
Three people were arrested in connection with his murder but no one was charged.
The police said that they were looking to trace a man that was seen nearby on a bicycle who was thought might have been the gunman. He had been wearing black clothing, balaclava and a hi-vis jacket with a dark blue bottom part and reflective band. The man was described as:
The police described the hi-vis jacket as being very distinctive.
He was thought to have made his getaway along a dirt-track that ran alongside some fields near the housing estate towards Loxwood Close.
A woman that saw the shooting said, 'My daughter was out in the street I wouldn’t even say two minutes before it happened. Me and my neighbour were out having a smoke on the front step when he said to me ‘who is that with a balaclava on?'. At this point the guy was already at the car and my neighbour said ‘I think he has got a gun’ and as soon as he said it we just heard four loud bangs. It just all happened so quickly. Literally seconds and then he was gone'.
The police said that they were also trying to trace a silver car that was seen in CCTV footage in the area on the day.
They also released images of three people that were seen nearby in CCTV footage that they thought might be able to assist in their enquiries, noting that they were not thought to have been involved with the murder but might have seen something.
The police said, 'This was a targeted attack on Carl and clearly the gunman intended to kill Carl, it would appear'.
The three people arrested were:
It was noted that Carl Russell had been shot before in 2010 when he was 18-years-old on New Year's Day whilst he had been in his bedroom playing computer games. It was said that he was lucky to have survived that attack as the bullet had glanced off his skull. Two masked men had burst into his home and shot his dog in the head and then shot at him. Carl Russell had said that he had known one of the men that had attacked him and he was tried for attempted murder but acquitted. He had been shot four times, three times in the body and once in the head and suffered from permanent disability.
During the investigation into his shooting the police found a loaded Glock pistol in a locked cupboard along with ammunition and he was later convicted of possessing a firearm. The police also found a black jacket and a face protector that they found had gunshot residue on it. Further analysis of the Glock pistol showed that it had been used in three separate shootings over the previous six weeks.
When Carl Russell was questioned over the gun he said that he had been forced to store the gun about two hours before he was shot in his bedroom and the name he gave for the person that had given him the gun was a man that had since been killed. At his trial the judge said that he accepted that Carl Russell had been storing the gun until his gang associates had next needed it.
At his trial he admitted possessing a firearm and ammunition and his barrister urged the court to show leniency due to the exceptional circumstances of his case, noting that he had been 'unbelievably lucky to survive the attack'. When the judge passed sentence he said, 'You possessed the gun against a background that you were entrusted with looking after the weapon, you had gunshot residue on your clothing and that gun was used in the previous few months on three occasions'. He was jailed for five years and four months but released a year later.
As well as being shot in the head he had received wounds to his pelvis, bowel and stomach and had required emergency surgery including the transfusion of 14 litres of blood followed by multiple operations after which he still suffered from serious disabilities including a deformed leg that meant he required crutches to get about as well as requiring a colostomy bag.
Following his release from prison for the firearms offence Carl Russell admitted a burglary that had taken place a month before he was shot which it was said would not have otherwise come to light and he was sentenced to nine months in a Young Offenders’ Institute.