Teenage gang warfare in Liverpool claimed the life of an 11-year-old boy who was shot to death by a stray bullet on his way home.
On August 22, 2007, 11-year-old Rhys Jones was shot in the back by a stray bullet in the midst of a gang war that had plagued the Croxteth and Norris Green estates in Liverpool for almost a decade. Rhys Jones had no affiliation to the gangs in Liverpool and was merely making his way home from football practice when he and his friends made the fateful decision to cross the Fir Tree Pub car park.
Some time earlier in 2007, a “young scally,” as the locals would say, named Sean Mercer had received an Anti-Social Behaviour Order from the Courts for terrorising a security guard at a local Shopping Centre with close friend Dean Kelly, age 17. Mercer was 16 at this time and was keen to make a name for himself among the leaders of the “Crocky Crew” gang to whom he was affiliated. His desperation to escalate in the ranks of the Crocky Crew and his hatred of the rival Strand Gang member –Wayne Brady – is what eventually would lead to the untimely death of Rhys Jones.