COPS have launched a murder investigation after a man was shot dead near a kids' playground in Liverpool this evening.

Terrified neighbours told officers they heard "three shots" in the area as the man - thought to be in his 30s - was gunned down Holy Cross Close at 8pm.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Earl said: “The investigation into this incident is in its very early stages, and we are keen to speak to anyone who may have information which could help us establish the full circumstances and find those responsible.

“You may have seen or heard suspicious behaviour in the area of Holy Cross Close and any information, no matter how small, could prove crucial as we seek to establish what happened and bring those responsible to justice.

“I want to reassure the public that and that we will thoroughly investigate any information given to us so we can put anyone who carries guns on our streets behind bars and would appeal to anyone who may have seen the incident itself, or who has any information about it, to please get in contact.”