Parents said they were afraid to take their children to school after two men were shot in the back in a Huyton street just yards from a primary school.
Emergency services were called to Lincombe Road, Huyton, at around 3.50pm on Wednesday after reports of a shooting.
A 17-year-old youth was found with a gunshot wound to his back and was taken to hospital for treatment. His injury was said to be not life threatening.
Another man, aged 23 years, who had been with him made his own way to hospital in a taxi. He had suffered injuries to his back and arm. Part of Lincombe Road was still cordoned off this morning.
Parents at nearby Park View Primary today said the shooting was the talk of the school gates.
One mum said: “To shoot at someone when there are children around is disgusting. I was nervous walking to school with my little boy this morning.”
A pensioner who said she had lived in the road for more than 20 years said: “My heart went into my stomach when I heard. I’ve got a grandson who lives with me. This road’s always been quiet. It’s the bigger kids who cause all the havoc going up to the park. It’s a lovely road.”
A man in his 70s described the teenager who was shot yesterday as an “idiot” for bringing trouble to his doorstep.
He said: “It is shocking but everyone’s just getting on with it and it seems like a one-off.
“But you worry about the kids with it being near the school.”
Police said that it is thought the gunman had got out of a car which drove into Lincombe Road at about 3.50pm.
After shooting at a group of three men he got back into the vehicle which drove off in the direction of Huyton.
One resident said: “It happened just as parents were picking up their kids from Park View Primary School. The children actually witnessed it. They ran and the parents were petrified.
“It’s disgusting that something like this happened at school time. There could have been a really bad accident.”
House-to-house inquiries are underway and CCTV is also being examined.
Detective Inspector Mike Leyland, from the Matrix Serious Organised Crime team, said: “High visibility patrols have been stepped up to reassure the local community and a thorough investigation is already underway to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident and bring those responsible to justice.
“Our inquiries are clearly at a very early stage, although it does appear that this was a targeted incident.
“We believe the offenders who were in a small, dark car drove in to Lincombe Road just before 3.50pm. A man, whose face was covered got out of the car and fired a shot at a group of three males, who were talking. He then got back into the car, which was last seen heading towards Huyton.
“I would appeal to anyone who thinks they may have seen the car in the area, or who may have witnessed anyone acting suspiciously in the area prior to the incident, to get in touch with us.
“We won’t tolerate the use firearms on the streets of Merseyside and we will be relentless in our efforts to bring those who are prepared to use them to justice.”
Anyone with information about this incident can call detectives at the Matrix Serious Organised Crime team on 0800 230 0600, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.