The 19-year-old daughter of a Lebanese asylum seeker who came to the UK 10 years ago was shot dead in a drive-by shooting as she walked to a Lidl supermarket near her home in Blackburn, Lancanshire.

Aya Hachem was hit in the chest by a stray bullet on Sunday at 3pm. CCTV footage showed a silver Toyota Avensis slowed down alongside her and she fell to the ground moments later. Aya died after she was rushed to the hospital.

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She is the eldest of his father’s four children, a second year law student at the University of Salford. Her father Ismail Hachem came to the UK as an asylum seeker 10 years ago. He got his UK citizenship recently after several failed attempts.

A longtime family friend of the Hachems, Luky Hussein said the shooting of Ismail’s daughter is bringing back the horrors he fled from years ago in Lebanon back to him.

Aya’s father, Ismail Hachem

‘They fled Lebanon for the war with people threatening to kill him,’ Luky said.

‘Coming from something like this to the UK and now his daughter gets shot. This is history repeating itself. I can’t imagine what he must be going through.”

‘I’m sure it brings it all back for him. He’s got a bullet mark in his back, he was shot while he was living in Lebanon. He got caught in crossfire once.’

Hardworking Ismail would volunteer at Luky’s family takeaway in return for food – while he was banned from working as an asylum seeker.

‘The struggles he has been through, he only got granted citizenship last year. Four times his application got refused. His two younger children were born in the UK.

‘Finally last year he got his citizenship – and now poor Aya has been shot.’

Three men have so far been arrested in connection with the shooting. The men, aged 33, 39 and 36 are being questioned after they were arrested on Monday on suspicion of Aya’s murder.

 

 

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