A teenager has been charged with the murder of a 12-year-old girl in Liverpool city center, police said.
Ava White was in town with friends on Thursday after the Christmas lights came on when she suffered ‘catastrophic injuries’ in an assault at 8:39 p.m., Merseyside police said.
A 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has now been charged with murder and possession of a bladed article.
Police said he was remanded in custody to appear in court on Monday.
Three other boys aged 13 to 15, who were also arrested, have been released on bail as the investigation continues.
Ava, who has been described as popular and brilliant, was involved in a “verbal argument” which escalated into an “assault on her with a knife,” police said.
The force said the offenders fled to School Lane, across Hanover Street and down Fleet Street after the incident.
Ava was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after paramedics arrived, but died soon after.
On Friday, flowers were placed on Church Street in tribute to the student at Notre-Dame Catholic College, as forensic scientists and police searched the scene.
A balloon was left by Lacey, 17, who declined to give her last name, who said her younger sister had been a close friend of Ava’s. She said, “She was just a bubbly character, so loving and caring. She went out with her friends for fun and I think it’s not fair that this happened.
Her manager, Peter Duffy, said: “She was an incredibly popular girl with a fantastic group of friends. “
Police released an image on Saturday of a pickup truck that may have been occupied by key witnesses to the murder.
Superintendent Sue Coombs said, “We continue to support Ava’s family and they have asked that their privacy continue to be respected during this difficult time.
“It is also vitally important as we continue the investigation that no one posts any comments or names on social media that could potentially impact us in securing justice for Ava’s family.
“Please believe us that we are doing everything we can to investigate and educate people about this tragic incident, and we don’t want anything to put it in jeopardy.” “
Ms Coombs urged anyone who captured the incident or its aftermath to send footage or footage to the force online at: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/05MP21M43-PO1.