Neighbours say a pregnant woman was stabbed in the face shortly before a man was shot metres from a packed church.
Officers were called to Kennelwood Avenue in Kirkby, near Liverpool, at around 8.45pm last night after receiving reports of a shooting.
A woman living nearby described hearing a gunshot before looking out of a window in her home to see a man ‘fall to the ground’.
She told the Liverpool Echo: ‘Then someone picked them up and they disappeared.’
Police said an investigation into the incident is at its early stages.
Danny Leadbetter, 27, said he was putting his children to bed when he heard a loud noise.
The dad-of-two said: ‘I heard a big bang, it sounded like a big gun.
‘I was in with the kids and I had just got them asleep then I just heard a big noise and I thought what the f*** was that?
‘The police didn’t come to my door after, but I saw them driving around and I looked out of my window and saw my girlfriend come back in and she said “do you know what’s happened?”‘
He said he heard reports a pregnant woman had been ‘slashed in the face’ earlier in the night, before the shooting took place.
Another resident, who asked not to be named, said it had been a busy night in the area.
Nearby St Mary’s Catholic Church, just metres from the scene of the shooting, was full of people at the time.
One woman who works in the church said churchgoers were in mass as the attack happened, with an evening service starting at about 7.30pm.
The victim of the shooting was taken to hospital where his condition is described as serious but stable.
His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, police said.
Detective Inspector Holly Chance said: ‘The investigation into this incident is in its early stages and motive for the attack is currently unknown, but we are treating it as a targeted attack.
‘We want to get a clearer picture of why it happened, and who is responsible and appeal to anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the incident, or who saw anyone acting suspiciously shortly before or after to come forward.
‘If you were driving nearby and have a dashcam camera please check to see if you have picked anything up on the camera as it may be helpful to our inquiries and could assist us in identifying the offenders.’
Police told Metro.co.uk they could not comment any further on reports of the earlier stabbing.