Police say they will “move heaven and earth” to track down the murderers of a 19-year-old law student gunned down in a drive-by shooting.
Aya Hachem was an innocent passer-by and not the intended target of the broad-daylight attack in a main road in Blackburn, Lancashire, on Sunday.
The teenager was hit by one of several shots fired from a passing car as she walked to a Lidl supermarket to buy food for her family.
No arrests have been made as police declared a “critical incident”.
Detectives said the investigation was in its early stages and would not be drawn on the motive for the shooting, but confirmed they were not treating it as terrorism-related or racially motivated.
Ms Hachem, a second year student at the University of Salford, died in hospital from a single gunshot wound a short time after emergency services were called to the scene in King Street at about 3pm.
Her distraught parents said she was the “most loyal devoted daughter” who enjoyed spending time with her family.
They added she dreamt of becoming a solicitor and had been learning to drive.
Speaking at the crime scene, Deputy Chief Constable of Lancashire Police Terry Woods said: “I have a direct message to those who were involved or family, friends and associates of those involved. The bottom line here is a completely innocent, wonderful 19-year-old girl was shot dead yesterday by those people.
“We will not stop, and we will move heaven and earth, to find those responsible. Now is your time to come forward with information.
“I have been proud to serve the communities of Blackburn for over 25 years. We come together at times like this. Blackburn communities are strong, they always have been and I know that they will unite.
“We will all support Aya’s family and together we will move heaven and earth to bring those responsible to justice.”
A number of people were travelling in the light green/grey Toyota Avensis from which the shots were fired.
The vehicle, with the registration number SV53 UBP, was abandoned a short time later in nearby Wellington Road.
Police are appealing for anyone who saw the car or have mobile phone, CCTV or dashcam footage taken in the area between 10am and 4pm to come forward.
Detectives also want to hear from anyone who has information about who had been using the car on the day or in the weeks before.
Anybody with information should contact 101, quoting log number 0412 of May 18th, or anonymously via independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.