Intended victim of gunman who killed nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel, 9, in Liverpool arrested
A man chased in to the house of a nine-year-old girl who was shot dead in Liverpool was on release from prison on licence, police say.
Olivia Pratt-Korbel died when a 35-year-old man, unknown to the family, ran into her home on Kingsheath Avenue, in Dovecot, in an attempt to get away from a shooter, police said.
Her mother Cheryl Korbel, 46, was shot in the wrist as she tried to close the door on the gunman while Olivia stood behind her.
Merseyside Police say the 35-year-old man, believed to be the intended target of the gunman, has been rearrested on breach of licence.
He is in hospital in a stable condition after being shot multiple times and will be recalled to prison to serve the remainder of his licence.
ITV News understands that the 35-year-old had been released from prison in 2021 for an offence which is not gun-related.
His sentence had been 57 months and was due to end in 2023 and was classified as “medium risk” by probation service.
Police say he will be further questioned in connection with Olivia’s murder.
BREAKING: The 35 year-old targeted by the gun man who killed 9 year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel had been released from prison on licence and has now been rearrested for breaching that licence.
Raises fresh questions for probation service. Was it safe to release him?
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) August 24, 2022
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Baker said: “Our enquiries continue into the shocking murder of Olivia, and supporting her family as they try to come to terms with this tragedy.”I would like to echo the words of our Chief Constable yesterday appeal to the community to keep helping this family in every way possible.
“We will do all we can to take all of these involved in gun crime off the streets, as this arrest demonstrates. “This is not the time for anyone who knows who was responsible to stay silent.
“It is a time for us all to make Merseyside a place where the use of guns on our streets is totally unacceptable and those who use them are held to account.
“If you saw, heard, captured or know anything, tell us directly or anonymously and we will continue to act.”
Flowers left at the scene of Olivia’s murder.Credit: PA images
On Tuesday, Detective Chief Superintendent Kameen said Olivia had been at home with her two older siblings and mother when Cheryl Korbel opened the door after hearing gunshots.
He said a figure, wearing a black padded jacket, a black balaclava with a peak, dark trousers and black gloves, fired shots at two men walking along Kingsheath Avenue, causing both of them to run away.
One of the men ran towards the open door of Olivia’s home and forced his way in.
Mr Kameen said: “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.”
Olivia was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital by officers but later died.
The Audi used to transport the injured man has since been seized.
The front page of the Liverpool Echo appeals the community to hand over any information that could help in the murder investigation.Credit: PA images / Liverpool Echo
Police have appealed to the public to speak up if they know anything about the person responsible for Olivia’s murder.
The Liverpool Echo made a passionate front page appeal for help, by telling its readers to “imagine the agony of Olivia’s family as they are told she did not make it – murdered in her own home”.
The newspaper stated: “Imagine knowing something about this unspeakable crime but keeping quiet because you would rather surrender our city to the thugs than to get justice for Olivia.
“If this is you, ask yourself … whose side are you on?”
On Tuesday a heartbreaking note was left at the scene where the schoolgirl was fatally shot.Credit: ITV News
The community has been left shocked and devastated after Olivia’s death.
A heartbreaking note was left at the scene where the schoolgirl was fatally shot. It warned people to be “careful” as “wanted people [are] on the loose [and] they have guns”.
Meanwhile, others have chosen to leave flowers and tributes. One note read: “Words can not describe how this tragedy has turned this city upside down.
“Our thoughts + prayers are with Olivia’s family at this sad time.”
Anyone with information, footage or images is asked to contact Merseyside Police via the following link Public Portal (mipp.police.uk), @MerPolCC or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 with reference 22000621566.