Police were called to King Street at 3pm to reports of an “unresponsive woman” following gunshots heard in the area. The woman believed to be from Blackburn, was taken hospital with serious injuries where she later died. No arrests have been made. Police say they have now launched a murder investigation.
A post-mortem will take place in due course but police currently believe the cause of death was a gunshot wound.
It was reported that a vehicle, thought to be a light coloured or metallic green Toyota Avensis, was seen leaving the scene.
A car matching the description was later recovered from Wellington Road and police are appealing for anyone who may have seen the car to contact them.
Blackburn police are on the scene
Detective Chief Inspector Jonathan Holmes, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said: “This is a truly shocking and senseless killing, which has robbed a young woman of her life.
“Although the victim has yet to be formally identified, we believe she was a young woman from the local area.
“Her family have now been informed of her death and they are understandably utterly, utterly distraught.
“An investigation has been launched and we are determined to find those responsible – and we are asking for the public’s help identifying the offender or offenders.
We know that King Street will have been busy around the time of the incident and we are confident there is someone, or several people, out there who know what happened.
“We understand people may be reluctant to come forward during this time, especially if they have not been following the Government guidelines about staying at home, but we would reassure them that our immediate concern is to find out what happened.”
Mr Holmes urged anyone with information or any footage of the incident to come forward.
He also reassured residents that additional patrols, including armed officers, have been deployed in the area.
Up to seven police cars were at the scene with a police helicopter flying overhead. One man at the scene said: “Still got the armed response gathering evidence. Shooting on King Street in Blackburn.”
One tweeted: “Shooting reported at Lidl Blackburn. Police helicopter been up for 3/4 hour. Police all over the area.”
Lancashire Constabulary earlier said: “Officers, including armed police, are currently in the King Street area of Blackburn following an incident this afternoon.
“We were called at around 3pm to reports a woman had been found unresponsive on King Street, close to Lidl, following gunshots being heard in the area.
“The woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries. No arrests have been made but an investigation to establish exactly what occurred, and who is responsible, is very much underway.
“We appreciate this will have caused a lot of worry in the community, but we have deployed significant additional resources, including armed officers, to carry out high visibility patrols in the area to provide reassurance to residents.
“Anyone with concerns or questions is welcome to speak to those officers.”
A neabrby shop owner in the area told Daily Star Online: “All we’ve been told is that there’s been a shooting, that’s all that we know right now.”
Witnesses with information about the incident, or who witnessed the incident, is urged to contact us urgently on 101, quoting log 817 of May 17.