Three more charged over murder of law student in drive-by shooting
Another three people have been charged over the murder of a law student and the attempted murder of their intended target in a drive-by shooting, Lancashire Police said.
Innocent passer-by Aya Hachem, 19, was gunned down as she walked to a supermarket near her home in Blackburn on Sunday.
The first of two shots fired from a passing vehicle hit a building but the second fatally struck the teenager in the chest.
Blackburn residents Uthman Satia, 28, of Oxford Close, 24-year-old Kashif Manzoor, of Shakeshaft Street, and 26-year-old Judy Chapman of St Hubert’s Road, Great Harwood, have been charged with the murder of the 19-year-old.
Earlier, Feroz Suleman, 39, of Shear Brow, Blackburn, and Abubakir Satia, 31, of Oxford Close, Blackburn, were charged with Ms Hachem’s murder and the attempted murder of their target.
The five defendants are due to appear at Preston Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.
Two men aged 33 and 36, from Blackburn, arrested on Monday on suspicion of murder and attempted murder have been released on bail pending further inquiries, Lancashire Police said.
A 35-year-old Blackburn man arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of murder has been released under investigation, as has another Blackburn man aged 29 who was arrested the same day on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Lancashire Police said a 19-year-old Blackburn woman arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of assisting an offender and a 29-year-old Blackburn woman arrested the same day on suspicion of conspiracy to murder have been released under investigation.
Two Blackburn men – a 39-year-old arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, and one aged 34 arrested on Thursday on the same charges – remain in custody.
Police have released without charge a 22-year-old man from Blackburn arrested earlier on Friday on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.
Detective Superintendent Andy Cribbin said: “While we have now charged people in connection with Aya’s murder our inquiries are very much ongoing.
“I would like to thank all those who have come forward to assist with our investigation so far and to continue to encourage people to come and speak to us if they have information.”
Police have not named the man who they believe was the target of the broad daylight shooting on a busy main road in the town centre.
The teenager, a second year student at the University of Salford, died in hospital a short time after emergency services were called to the scene near Lidl in King Street at around 3pm.
A number of people were travelling in the light green/silver Toyota Avensis from which the shots were fired.
The vehicle was abandoned a short time later in nearby Wellington Road and seized for forensic examination.
Miss Hachem’s family had fled from their home country of Lebanon to seek a better life in the UK.
Her distraught parents said she was the “most loyal devoted daughter” who enjoyed spending time with her family and dreamed of becoming a solicitor.