A scourge of military weapons is sweeping the streets of Britain as a third person has been killed in just months.
The Czech-made Skorpion machine gun, capable of firing 850 rounds per minute, has become the weapon of choice for inner-city drug gangs across Britain.
Earlier this year, an investigation by The Sun revealed that criminals were buying discarded scorpions in Europe and then using garden shed equipment to convert them into live firearms.
The so-called pellet-fired Flobert rifles were bought in Europe for a few hundred pounds and then sold to British gangs to be put back into service by underworld gunsmiths.
Former Home Secretary Priti Patel said it was vital that the evil guns “no longer find their way onto the streets of Britain”.
But the weapon has now claimed three victims.
Innocent victim Elle Edwards became the third person to be shot dead with a Scorpion machine gun during the five-month terror attack in Merseyside.
Elle, 26, was enjoying a celebratory drink when Connor Chapman, 23, opened fire outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Merseyside.
The innocent beautician was tragically caught in the crossfire of a deadly gang war between rival groups.
She died after being hit by two bullets in the back of the head. Five others were injured during the Christmas bloodbath.
Chapman was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 48 years for murder after a harrowing trial at Liverpool Crown Court.
Elle’s father Tim yelled at the killer as a “coward” after the sentencing hearing, while other family members cried and shouted “yes.”
Chapman was also found guilty of two counts of attempted murder, two counts of intentional assault, and one count of assault with actual assault.
His co-defendant Thomas Waring was convicted of possession of a prohibited weapon and aiding and abetting a perpetrator.
ASHLEY DALE AND SAM RIMMER
Last August, City Council employees Ashley Dale and Sam Rimmer, both from Liverpool, were shot dead with a scorpion.
Ashley, 28, who worked for Knowsley Council, was shot dead by a gunman in the doorway of her Old Swan home.
She managed to crawl to the back of the house but died. Four men have been charged with murder and are facing trial.
Sam, 22, was in the Dingle area with friends when thugs on electric bikes showed up and opened fire.
Merseyside Police have confirmed a Scorpion submachine gun was used in both attacks.
A Liverpool man with machine gun experience told The Sun: “The scorpion is a dangerous weapon. You have to use it a few times before you fire a shot. If you don’t do it, everything goes wrong.”
“They’re fine for spraying a house, but not for a hit. They fire too many shots and you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
It is unclear whether the same scorpion was used in the cases of Elle, Ashley and Sam.
However, police said a scorpion-type weapon was used in all three attacks.
The gun used in Ashley’s murder was still believed to have been in the hands of criminals.
Detective Superintendent Paul Grounds told The Sun he was obviously concerned that police have not yet been able to recover the gun that shot Elle.
DS Grounds cited the 2007 killing of high school student Rhys Jones, which it said “should have marked a turning point for the city” on gun crime.
DS Grounds acknowledged that was not the case.
THE STREETS OF MERSEYSIDE
2022 has been a devastating year for Merseyside in terms of gun crime.
Olivia Pratt-Korbel, nine, was shot dead at home by gang enforcer Thomas Cashman.
And Wirral’s mother Jacqueline Rutter, 53, was shot dead when a gunman broke into her home in Wirral last October.
DCS Mark Kameen of Merseyside Police spoke out earlier this year about the problem of the Scorpion machine guns.
He said, “When you start bringing these types of military weapons into the communities on the battlefield and firing them.”
“When you add to that the chaotic nature, lack of training and lack of a moral compass, in the last three trips by a Scorpion to Merseyside someone has been killed.”
“Is it any wonder if this gun fires 12 or 13 rounds in less than a second?”
He added, “We’ve had people shooting at passing cars and putting bullets through windows or people’s front doors – anyone could be behind them.”
“It’s just the madness and total lack of moral compass that we’re dealing with these people.”