A SCOURGE of military-grade weapons are flooding UK streets as a third person was killed in just months.
The Czech-manufactured Skorpion machine gun, capable of discharging 850 rounds in a minute, has become a weapon of choice for inner city drug gangs across the UK.
Earlier this year an investigation by The Sun found that criminals were buying decommissioned Skorpions in Europe and then converting them to live firearms with garden shed equipment.
The so called pellet firing 'flobert' guns were being bought for a few hundred pounds in Europe and then sold onto British gangs to be recommissioned by underworld gunsmiths.
Former Home Secretary Priti Patel said it was vital the evil weapons "no longer find their way on the streets of Britain".
Yet the weapon has now claimed three victims.
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Innocent victim Elle Edwards was the third person shot dead with a Skorpion machine gun in Merseyside during five months of terror.
Elle, 26, was enjoying a festive drink when Connor Chapman, 23, opened fire outside the Lighthouse pub in Wallasey Village, Merseyside.
The innocent beautician was tragically caught up in the crossfire of a deadly gang war between rival groups.
She died after two bullets hit her in the back of the head, with five others injured during the Christmas bloodbath.
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Chapman was convicted of murder and jailed for life with a minimum of 48 years following a harrowing trial at Liverpool Crown Court.
Elle's dad Tim yelled "coward" at the killer after the verdict was delivered, while other family members wept and cried "yes".
Chapman was also found guilty of two counts of attempted murder, two of wounding with intent and one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
His co-accused Thomas Waring was convicted of possession of a prohibited weapon and assisting an offender.
ASHLEY DALE AND SAM RIMMER
Last August council worker Ashley Dale and Sam Rimmer, both from Liverpool, were shot dead with a Skorpion.
Ashley, 28, who worked for Knowsley Council, was shot in the doorway of her Old Swan home by a gunman.
She managed to crawl to the rear of the house but died. Four men have been charged with murder and are set to face trial.
Sam, 22, was with friends in the Dingle area of the city when thugs on electric bikes appeared and opened fire.
Merseyside Police have confirmed that a Skorpion sub-machine gun was used in both attacks.
A Liverpool man with experience of using machine guns said to The Sun: "The Skorpion is a dangerous gun. You need to have used it a few times before you let one off. If you don't it will all go wrong.
"They are fine to spray up a house but not for a hit. They let off too many rounds and you don't know what will happen."
It has not been established if the same Skorpion was used in the cases of Elle, Ashley and Sam.
But police have said that a Skorpion type gun was used in all three attacks.
The weapon used in Ashley's murder was still thought to be in the hands of criminals.
Detective Superintendent Paul Grounds told The Sun that he was obviously concerned that the force had not yet been able to recover the weapon used to gun down Elle.
DS Grounds cited the 2007 murder of schoolboy Rhys Jones which he said "should have been a turning point for the city" with respect to gun crime.
DS Grounds acknowledged that this has not been the case.
THE STREETS OF MERSEYSIDE
2022 was a devastating year for Merseyside with respect to gun crime.
Olivia Pratt-Korbel, nine, was shot dead at home by gang enforcer Thomas Cashman.
And Wirral mum Jacqueline Rutter, 53, was shot dead when a gunman burst into her Wirral home last October.
Speaking earlier this year DCS Mark Kameen, from Merseyside police, addressed the issue of Skorpion machine guns.
He said: "If you start bringing that sort of battlefield military weaponry into communities and discharging it.
"You add that to the chaotic nature, lack of training, no moral compass, that's where you get now the last three times a Skorpion has been used in Merseyside someone's been killed every single time.
"Is it any wonder when this gun is firing 12 or 13 rounds in less than a second?"
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He added: "We had people firing at cars driving past, putting bullets through windows or people's front doors – anyone could be behind.
"That's just the madness and complete lack of moral compass these people have we are dealing with."
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