A murderer jailed for a minimum of 30 years is at large after two armed men ambushed the car he was travelling in during an escorted hospital visit.
Shaun Colin Walmsley, 28, fled from outside Aintree University Hospital as he was getting into the vehicle with prison officers.
Merseyside Police said two men believed to be carrying a gun and a knife threatened the officers and demanded they release Walmsley, before making off in a gold-coloured Volvo.
Neither of the prison guards was hurt during the incident that took place after Walmsley's appointment.
Walmsley was remanded in custody at HMP Liverpool after being sentenced to life imprisonment in June 2015, with a 30-year tariff, for the murder of Anthony Duffy.
The public is being warned not to approach the killer - described as dangerous - as he could also be in the company of the armed men who ambushed the car.
A manhunt is under way and police are carrying out extensive searches of the area.
Walmsley, of Wallace Street, Walton, is described as white, 6ft and slim, with dark brown hair and blue eyes.
He was last seen wearing dark bottoms and a dark jacket.
The gunman had his face covered and was wearing white shoes, grey tracksuit bottoms with a stripe down each side, a grey hooded top and a dark coat.
The second man, who was believed to be armed with a knife, also had his face covered and wore a green coat, dark Nike trainers and grey tracksuit bottoms.
Merseyside Police is working with the Ministry of Justice and forces across the country to find Walmsley.
Police are asking who has seen him or knows where he is to contact them on 999 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.