Two more arrests made in Aya Hachem murder investigation in Blackburn

A total of 13 people have now been arrested in connection with the shooting of law student Aya Hachem, 19, who was killed in Blackburn.

By Sean Gleaves
Friday, 22nd May 2020, 7:34 am
Updated Friday, 22nd May 2020, 7:36 am

Murder squad detectives have arrested two more suspects after a teenage law student was gunned down in a drive-by shooting.

Lancashire Police said the pair, aged 34 and 24, were arrested on suspicion of the murder of 19-year-old Aya Hachem.

A total of 13 people have now been held by police after Aya was shot in broad daylight as she was out shopping close to the Lidl supermarket on King Street in Blackburn on Sunday (May 17).

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A subsequent post-mortem examination has revealed that Aya died as a result of a gunshot wound to her chest.

Aya’s father Ismail Hachem told BBC Asian Network he had hoped his family would be safe in Britain after fleeing Lebanon more than a decade ago.

Mr Hachem had tried to call his daughter repeatedly when she did not return from the supermarket and did not know where she was until police came to his home later.

“I start crying … cause all my dreams, Aya,” Mr Hachem said.

A total of 13 people have now been held by police in connection with the death of Aya Hachem. (Credit: Lancashire Police)

“I thought I would be safe here … in this small town. No big problems.”

Nine men and one woman, all aged between 24 and 39 and all from Blackburn, are now being questioned on suspicion of murder.

One woman and two men are being held on suspicion of assisting an offender.

It is known that before she was shot, a light silver/ green Toyota Avensis drove past Aya.

Shots were fired from the vehicle, with one of the shots striking Aya in the chest, fatally injuring her.

Police believe Aya was not the intended target of the attack.

The Lebanese-born teenager, a second year student at the University of Salford, died in hospital at around 3pm.

The Avensis, registration number SV53 UBP, was recovered by police on Sunday (May 17) on Wellington Road.

Senior investigating officer Det Supt Andy Cribbin, from Lancashire Constabulary’s major investigation team, said: "This is a very fast moving investigation, with information coming in from various places which we are reacting swiftly to.

"I continue to appeal to people who think they know who was involved in the tragic shooting of Aya but haven’t spoken to us yet to do the right thing and make contact.

"Aya, the innocent victim in all of this, along with her family, deserve justice and it is people telling us what they know that will help us find the people or person responsible.”

Any information or video footage can be sent to police via the major incident portal at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/0401020120E05-PO1

Anyone with any other information is asked to get in touch with police by calling 101, quoting log number 0412 of May 18.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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