Ashley Dale: Woman, 28, shot dead at home in case of 'mistaken identity' just like brother seven years ago

Her brother Lewis Dunne was killed in a similar incident in 2015 when a gang mistook him to be a member of a rival gang

Ashley Dale: Woman, 28, shot dead at home in case of 'mistaken identity' just like brother seven years ago
Ashley Dale died after unidentified assailants broke into her home and shot her (MerseyHack, RadioCityNews/Twitter)
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LIVERPOOL, LONDON: A 28-year-old woman was shot dead in her house by unidentified assailants, on Monday, August, 22, seven years after her teen brother was killed in a similar incident. Ashley Dale was killed in the back garden of her home in the Old Swan area of Liverpool, in what is believed to be case of mistaken identity. Her brother Lewis Dunne was killed in 2015 when he was 16 after a gang mistook him for a rival gang member. Authorities believe their deaths are unconnected. Dale's family said, "We can’t come to terms with how this would happen to a defenseless woman in her own home. None of this makes sense and our lives will never be the same again." Her family said that their "hearts are broken into a million pieces" and have paid tributes to her. 

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Dale had recently secured a promotion with the environmental health team at Knowsley Council. Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen, head of investigations at Merseyside Police, said that the front door had been forced open and several shots were fired before the neighbors called the police. Dale was found with gunshot wounds at 12.40 am and was treated at the scene but died later in a hospital. Police has said that the home was purposefully targeted but she was not the intended victim. Police have appealed for information about a car seen being driven 'erratically' on Prescot Road around the time of the shooting. Kameen said it had been carried out on “an innocent member of the public” and urged people to “come together” to help find those responsible.

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Kameen said he wanted the community to “have a sense of utter disgust, revulsion and shock” as he appealed for witnesses after confirming no arrests have yet been made. "If you live or work locally and have private CCTV or a Ring doorbell, please check it to see if it captured anything which may assist us," he said.

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Dale’s family said, "Ashley, our girl – our shining light. Our hearts are broken into a million pieces. Ashley was a hard-working young woman who had her entire life ahead of her. She had just been promoted at her job with Knowsley council. She had a degree and so many plans for her bright future that had only just begun. Her laugh, smile and energy was infectious in any room. A senseless crime that has torn a family apart. Justice needs to be brought."

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Ashley Dale becomes victim to mistaken identity shot dead in Liverpool (@fox_wiki/Twitter)
Ashley Dale was 'mistakenly' killed in her home in Liverpool (fox_wiki/Twitter)

Knowsley metropolitan borough council leader Graham Morgan said everyone at the town hall was “extremely saddened” by Dale’s death, adding, "Ashley will be a big loss to her team and the wider council as well those Knowsley residents who she supported. "She was extremely popular with everyone who she came into contact with. Our thoughts and condolences are with Ashley’s family, friends and colleagues at this extremely sad time.

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Dale's former colleague Carol Tunstall wrote on social media, "So very sad. Ashley worked with us a good few years back. Such a beautiful, lovely young girl." A neighbor told Liverpool Echo, "She was lovely. She was a nice, young girl just doing her own thing, enjoying life and then this happens. It doesn't bear thinking about. I'm a mum and my heart goes out to her family and friends. We've never had trouble in this street, it's always been quiet." 

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Ashley's brother Lewis Dunne was also victim to mistaken identity, was shot dead at 16 in Liverpool (@mynewsnorth/Twitter)
Ashley's brother Lewis Dunne was also killed by a gang as they mistook him to be a member of their rival gang in Liverpool (mynewsnorth/Twitter)

Ashley Dale is the first female victim of gun crime in Liverpool since the murder of Lucy Hargreaves in August, 2005, when three men burst into a house and shot her dead. Kameen said that officers believe at this stage that Dale was home alone at the time. He told the Liverpool Echo "Ashley lived there largely on her own, and what we know at this time is that the front door of that property was forced open by the offender or offenders outside. A firearm was then indiscriminately discharged on multiple occasions inside. The type of gun used is not yet known, but police have confirmed it was not a shotgun-type firearm. Bullet casings from the scene have been sent for examination."

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Kameen went on to add, "At this moment in time our position is we do not believe Ashley was the target of this attack. So we do not believe, at this time, that Ashley was in any way involved in this. We believe the property was being targeted. And the reasons for that are part of our investigation now as we move forward." Detectives have launched a murder investigation and a post-mortem examination is due to take place to confirm the cause of death.

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Her brother Lewis Dunne was on his way to a shop when he walked into the path of four men lying in wait with a loaded weapon and with murderous intent, Liverpool Crown Court was told. The shooting took place in Vauxhall when drug dealers Jake Culshaw, then 26, and his brothers John and Paul Martin, then aged 20 and 26, assumed Dunne, who had curly hair like one of the rival gang members. The three men were subsequently jailed for life. 

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