Murder police plea after Olivia, nine, shot by gunman in her own Liverpool home
1 year ago
Merseyside Police said the youngster was shot in the chest in the incident at her home in Knotty Ash.
Nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was shot dead in Liverpool when a gunman chased another man into her home and fired “with complete disregard” for anyone else in the property.
Merseyside Police named the child as Olivia Pratt-Korbel and said her family were “absolutely devastated, inconsolable and heartbroken” following the incident in Kingsheath Avenue, Knotty Ash, on Monday night.
Speaking at a press conference at the force’s headquarters in Liverpool on Tuesday, chief constable Serena Kennedy appealed for anyone with information to come forward, adding “now is not the time to remain tight-lipped”.
Olivia was found with a gunshot injury to her chest when officers attended the scene at around 10pm on Monday, and was taken in a critical condition to hospital, where she died.
Ms Kennedy said police believe a 35-year-old man was being chased in the area by a gunman who was firing at him.
She said: “On arrival, our officers could see just how poorly Olivia was and they rushed her to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where, despite the best efforts of medical staff, she sadly died. Her mum was taken to hospital by colleagues from the North West Ambulance Service.
“This is a shocking and appalling attack which will reverberate around our communities, and I want to take this opportunity again to appeal to anybody who knows who was responsible for this attack to please come forward and give us those names.
“We need to find all who are responsible for this. Not just the gunman, we need to find who supplied the weapon and who arranged this terrible incident.
“Forensic experts are at the scene at this moment in time, conducting house-to-house enquiries and officers are reviewing CCTV footage to establish and identify who is responsible.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen, head of investigations at Merseyside Police, said the gunman, who was wearing a black balaclava and black gloves, forced his way into the building as Olivia’s mother Cheryl tried to close the door.
He said: “Olivia’s mum Cheryl appears to have opened the door to her property in order to see what was going on outside.
“One of the men, the man that the Chief Constable referred to as the 35-year-old man, appears to have seen the door opening and run towards the opening of that door.
“He has then forced his way into the property despite the very best efforts of Cheryl, and has made his way inside.
“As that was taking place, the person with the gun has followed the male to this property. That person has also tried to force entry to the property and has managed, it would appear, to put their hand through the open door as Cheryl continued to try and close it.
“A shot has been fired, which we believe has hit Cheryl, injuring her, and then fatally wounding Olivia. Olivia at that time, we believe, was stood directly behind Cheryl.”
The Chief Constable said: “I also want to take the opportunity to appeal to members of the criminal fraternity and ask them to examine their consciences as they will have vital information that can help us.
“The killing of a nine-year-old child is an absolute tragedy and crosses every single boundary, and I would urge them to do the right thing so we can put this person behind bars.”
The girl was found with a gunshot injury to the chest when officers attended the scene at around 10pm on Monday, and was taken in a critical condition to hospital, where she died.
Her mother was also injured in the shooting and was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to her arm.
The killing came 15 years to the day after 11-year-old Rhys Jones was shot dead in Croxteth.
Ch Con Kennedy added: “No mum, no dad, no sister, or brother should ever have to experience loss in this way. Poignantly, Olivia was killed on the 15th anniversary of the murder of Rhys Jones – his murder should have been a watershed moment in the battle against gun crime and the use of guns on our streets.
“But shockingly there are still callous criminals who are prepared to use weapons on our streets and have utter disregard for the heartache and the pain that they have caused to Olivia’s family.”