Page last updated at 08:01 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 09:01 UK

More time to quiz Rhys suspects

Rhys Jones

Police investigating the murder of Liverpool schoolboy Rhys Jones have been given extra time to question 11 people about his killing.

A 22-year-old man held on suspicion of perverting the course of justice was bailed on Tuesday night.

The remaining 11 suspects - four of whom are being held on suspicion of murder - continue to be held by police.

Officers were given an extra 12 hours and have until 1900 BST on Wednesday to question them.

The 11-year-old was shot in the neck as he walked home from football training in Croxteth Park last August.

On Tuesday officers from the Merseyside force arrested nine males and three females, aged between 15 and 54, following a series of dawn raids.

Two youths, aged 16 and 17, and two men, aged 24 and 25, were being held on suspicion of murdering Rhys, who was shot by a gunman on a bicycle outside the Fir Tree Pub on the Croxteth Park estate.

BBC map showing area where Rhys Jones was shot

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, attempting to pervert the course of justice and possession of a firearm and ammunition.

A 49-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

A youth, 17, is also being held on suspicion of assisting an offender.

The three women, aged 50, 54 and 21, have been arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Detectives, who believe Rhys was not the intended target of the gunman, had previously arrested 20 people since the killing on 22 August, including 17 on suspicion of murder.

Although police have arrested 30 people during the investigation no-one has been charged, but some of those arrested are now being treated as witnesses.

In February, Merseyside Police said they believed they had found the murder weapon.

On Tuesday Merseyside Chief Constable, Bernard Hogan Howe paid tribute to Rhys's parents.

He said: "A lot of painstaking work has gone into this investigation which continues.

"The public and Rhys's parents, Melanie and Stephen, have been very supportive throughout and we are grateful for their ongoing confidence in the investigation."



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