THE father of the teenage law student who was killed in a drive-by shooting has said he had hoped his family would find safety in Blackburn after settling over a decade ago.

Ismail Hachem and his wife Samar have raised their family – including 19-year-old Aya – in the town since fleeing Lebanon over ten years ago.

However their lives came crashing down on Sunday afternoon after Salford University student Miss Hachem was shot and killed as she walked along King Street in the town.

Speaking to the BBC’s Asian Network, Mr Hachem said he had tried to call his daughter repeatedly when she did not return from the supermarket.

He didn't know where she was until two female police officers turned up at his door.

He said: “Straight away she said Aya die. My wife started shouting ‘don’t say it like that,’

“I started crying, my wife, because all of my dreams – Aya. Everything Aya.

“She had big dreams and she helped many people. Everywhere, everybody liked Aya. But we lost Aya. My family has lost Aya.”

Eleven people are now being questioned in custody over Aya’s murder.

An innocent passer-by, Aya was hit by one of several shots fired from a passing Toyota Avensis, receiving a fatal shot wound to the chest.

Detectives have been granted an additional 36 hours by magistrates to question three men, aged 33, 36 and 39, all from Blackburn, on suspicion of her murder after their arrests on Monday.

On Wednesday, eight further arrests were made.

Four men aged 28, 31, 35 and 39 and a woman aged 29 were held on suspicion of murder.

Also arrested were two women aged 19 and 26 and a 29-year-old man on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Andy Cribbin, from Lancashire Constabulary's major investigation team, said: "This is a very fast moving investigation, with information coming in from various places which we are reacting swiftly to.

"My thanks goes to everyone who has passed on information to us, be that over the phone, through the Major Incident Public Portal (MIPP) or via Crimestoppers.

"I continue to appeal to people who think they know who was involved in the tragic shooting of Aya but haven't spoken to us yet to do the right thing and make contact.

"Aya, the innocent victim in all of this, along with her family, deserve justice and it is people telling us what they know that will help us find the people or person responsible."

A number of people were travelling in the light green/silver Toyota Avensis from which the shots were fired close to the Lidl store.

The vehicle, with the registration number SV53 UBP, was abandoned a short time later in nearby Wellington Road and seized for forensic examination.

Any information or video footage can be sent via the major incident portal at

Anybody with information should contact 101, quoting log number 0412 of May 18, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 08