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Boy charged with fatally stabbing 12-year-old girl at Christmas tree lighting

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A teenager has been charged with fatally stabbing a 12-year-old girl at a Christmas tree lighting event in England, authorities said.

The boy, 14, who was not publicly identified due to his age, allegedly attacked Ava White Thursday in Liverpool as she and friends taking in the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting, Merseyside police said Sunday.

The boy is facing charges of murder and possession of a bladed article and appeared in court Monday, where he wore a gray tracksuit during a five-minute hearing. He’s set to return to court Wednesday, Sky News reported.

Three other boys between the ages 13 and 15 were also arrested in the deadly stabbing, but have been released on bail as an investigation continues, police said.

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“We’re continuing to support Ava’s family, and they have requested that their privacy continues to be respected at this difficult time,” Merseyside police Det. Superintendent Sue Coombs said in a statement.

Coombs also asked that the public not post names of those allegedly involved in White’s stabbing on social media as to not impact Ava’s murder probe.

Three other boys between the ages 13 and 15 were also arrested in the deadly stabbing, but have been released on bail.
PA Images/Sipa USA

“Please trust us that we are doing all we can to investigate and update people on this tragic incident, and we do not want anything to jeopardize this,” Coombs said.

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Cops found Ava collapsed on the ground with “catastrophic injuries” after getting involved in an argument at the annual Christmas event, police said.

Ava, who attended Notre Dame Catholic College in Everton, was rushed to a hospital, but died a short time later, BBC reported.

Ava White.
Ava White was described by those that knew her as a “bubbly character” known as a “loving” and “caring” young woman.
Family Handout

A teacher at the school, Peter Duffy, said Ava was an “incredibly popular girl with a fantastic group of friends,” according to BBC.

Mourners placed flowers at a memorial on Church Street for Ava on Friday as cops continued to process the scene, The Guardian reported.

A 17-year-old who said her younger sister had been close to Ava and described the late teen as a “bubbly character” known as a “loving” and “caring” young woman.

Police near the scene.
Police say they found Ava White collapsed on the ground with “catastrophic injuries” after getting involved in an argument at the tree lighting.
PA Images/Sipa USA

“She came out with her friends to enjoy herself and I think it’s just wrong that this has happened,” the teen, who identified herself only as Lacey, told The Guardian.

Anyone with information about the fatal stabbing is being asked to contact Merseyside police with information.

Ava White.
The 14-year-old boy has been charged with fatally stabbing Ava White.
Merseyside Police

“Liverpool City Centre was very busy at the time of the incident as the lights on the Christmas tree on Church Street had been officially switched on a short time earlier and we would appeal to anyone who was on Church Street who saw the incident, or may even have captured it on their mobile phone, to come forward,” Merseyside police said.

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