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Daily Record
Daily Record
Adam Everett & Nicola Croal

School girl shot in the chest at bus stop after being caught in crossfire of gang feud

A violent altercation between two rival gangs that were previously friends led to an innocent school girl being shot as she waited for the bus home. The 15 year old was tragically gunned down by one of six bullets fired by Rio Jones who was aiming for an ''enemy' as he rode through the streets of Toxteth, in Liverpool on an electric bike.

The bullet penetrated through the plastic sheeting of the bus stop the teen was sitting at and through the hood of her coat, into her neck and out of her chest. The incident left the girl severely injured as she suffered lung damage and three fractured vertebrae, the Liverpool Echo reports.

The shooting was the final climatic attack in a series of long winded rivalry fights which included a stabbing, shootings and arson attacks between two disputing gangs who were previously part of the one group.

Jones and his target, a 20-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons and will instead be referred to as Male A, had known each other since they were young boys and had previously been part of a large circle of friends in the area. This all changed in 2017, following the murder of an unnamed member.

The group was split into two as "certain friends fell out with certain people". Jones ended up on one side, with Male A on the other.

The 19-year-old defendant claimed that he personally did not have any issues with any members of the opposite contingent. When giving evidence from the witness box, he said of the man he would go on to shoot: "There was no problems between us, but we never spoke - I would see him on the street and it would by a hi and bye."

Rio Jones shot the teen by accident while he aimed for the enemy gang (Liverpool Echo)

But Jones would then be targeted in a series of "terrifying" events over the course of several years. The attacks gradually escalated in seriousness.

The window of his mum's car was shattered. On January 12, 2019, petrol was poured through the letterbox of the home on Jermyn Street which he shared with his parents and brother and set alight and six days later his dad's work van was torched outside.

Jones was "occasionally" chased with weapons. At one point, an unknown gunman opened fire as he chased the teen and a group of his friends.

On November 21, 2019, a firearm was discharged outside his address when he was not home. Ten 9mm casings were found in the road, with nine bullet holes left in the front window.

Then, on October 24, Jones was stabbed as he sat in a car with a female friend on High Park Street. He was knifed in the chest and leg, sustaining a "small puncture wound" to his upper thigh and a "slash wound" to the hand.

It was also the fact that he was wearing body armour at the time that saved him from serious injury. Jones was also chased and hit by a car while walking his dog, suffering a broken foot.

He believed the rival group was responsible. And after being chased again by two men on electric bikes on the morning of March 1 this year, the teenager set out for revenge.

In the early evening, Jones armed himself with a loaded semi-automatic gun and prowled the streets for any opposite number he could find. His intention, he said, was only to brandish the firearm and frighten the victim.

But when he spotted Male A, pursued him - both on electric bikes - and pulled out the weapon, Jones opened fire six times. One shot hit his target in the wrist, while five missed him.

Horrifically though, one of these errant bullets struck Girl A. She and a 14-year-old friend had been heading home from school at the time, waiting for a bus.

Jones' account was that he "panicked" upon producing the gun and began pulling the trigger. But a jury at Liverpool Crown Court found that he had a more sinister motive and convicted him of attempted murder.


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