A shop worker has been stabbed to death as he worked in his store.
The 30-year-old victim, who is from Sri Lanka but has not yet been named, was knifed in the neck during the attack at around 9pm on Tuesday, Merseyside Police said. He was found collapsed inside Stanley News and Wines on Kingsway, Huyton, Liverpool, and died at Whiston hospital a short time later.
Police said the motive for the murder remains unclear and they are keeping an open mind.
Detectives are studying CCTV footage which shows the attacker, whose face was covered, running out of the shop and away from the scene.
The victim had been living in the UK for around 12 months and efforts are now taking place to trace his family in Sri Lanka. Police said he was an employee at the shop, a general store and off licence, which is owned and managed by a Sri Lankan family.
Area commander Chief Superintendent Darren Martland described the attack as "horrific". He said: "We don't know what the motive for the attack was, all we can say is that it was unprovoked and we have no idea why this individual was targeted."
Mr Martland said there was no indication of a robbery and the murder was not being treated as a racially-motivated attack. He added: "We are keeping an open mind and as the enquires progress we will review that decision."
The killer was described as a stocky male who was wearing a dark tracksuit and had concealed his identity by covering his face. The scene remains cordoned off for forensic examination and police officers are carrying out house-to-house enquiries and high-visibility patrols.
Mr Martland said: "I am appealing directly to the community in Huyton and anyone who can offer any information to come forward please and assist the investigation team to identify who was responsible and bring them to justice."
Anyone with information should call Merseyside Police on 0151 777 8617 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.