It had to happen, and as ever it has brought forth all the usual stereotypes. I doubt whether most of the London-based reporters who talked about the poverty of croxteth had any idea that the event happened not in the council estate which spawned Wayne Rooney, but a large private housing development of semis and detached houses, Croxteth Park.
We don't really know all the facts as yet, but clearly its a tragic event. I think that there is nothing new about gangs in urban areas. But what is relatively recent is the importance and influence of drugs, and the availability of guns.
I don't have any easy answers, but for what its worth, there seem to be two things which are abundantly clear
1. We do not want or need to follow the American pattern in terms of gun availability
2. The 'war on drugs' and prohibitionism is not working at all.