National & International

Liverpool shooting: Olivia Pratt-Korbel, 9, killed after gunman who chased man into house

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Merseyside Police has put a large cordon in place as officers hunt the man responsible for the shooting

A nine-year-old girl was fatally shot when a man being chased by a gunman forced his way into her Liverpool home, according to the BBC.

Olivia Pratt-Korbel was shot in the chest as her mother struggled with the men at the door of her house in Dovecot at about 22:00 BST on Monday.

The gunman “fired indiscriminately”, hitting Olivia, her mum in the wrist and the man he was chasing in the body.

Merseyside Police said the family had no connection to the two men who forced their way into the house.

Speaking at a press conference, Chief Constable Serena Kennedy appealed for anyone with information to come forward, adding that now was “not the time to remain tight-lipped”.

She said it was “a shocking and appalling attack which will reverberate around our communities”.

“We need to find all who are responsible for this,” she said.

“Not just the gunman, we need to find who supplied the weapon and who arranged this terrible incident.”

She added that she wanted to appeal to Liverpool’s “criminal fraternity” for information, as Olivia’s death was “an absolute tragedy and crosses every single boundary”.

 Liverpool police reveal how the shooting of a 9-year-old unfolded

Det Ch Supt Mark Kameen said Cheryl Korbel, 46, had opened the door after hearing gunshots on Kingsheath Avenue.

He said the gunman, who was wearing a black peaked balaclava and black gloves, followed a 35-year-old man into the house as Ms Korbel tried to close the door and opened fire, hitting her and fatally wounding Olivia, who was standing behind her mum.

Merseyside Police said he then shot the man he was chasing several times in the upper body.

The injured man was driven away in a black Audi, which has since been seized, while Olivia and her mum were left behind and the attacker fled on foot.

Officers have not yet spoken to the injured man, who had not been arrested and remains in hospital in a serious, but not life-threatening, condition.

Ms Kennedy said officers sent to the scene “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”.

She added that forensic experts were “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”.

Appealing to the gunman to hand himself in, Mr Kameen said the wanted man was about 5ft 7in (170cm) and of slim build.

He said he also wanted a man who was with the injured 35-year-old to come forward.

Liverpool police say the gunman had no connection to the killed 9-year-old girl

Neighbour Marie Reilly, who has lived in the area for 36 years, said her partner heard four gunshots, which sounded like fireworks going off.

She said the fact it happened on her doorstep was scary and recent violence in the city was “getting too close”, adding: “I think it’s time to move.”

Fellow resident Sarah Halliday said it was “absolutely disgusting to wake up and find that a nine-year-old girl has been shot dead”.

Her partner Scott Mason added it was “scary for men because women and kids are getting shot”.

“You’re scared of your girlfriend and your daughter going to the shop… are they going to come back?” he said.

Police are appealing for a dashcam, CCTV and mobile phone footage from anyone in the area at the time

Paying tribute to Olivia, Knowsley Council leader Graham Morgan said she was a “popular pupil” at Huyton’s St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School “and I know she will be a huge loss to the school community and everyone who knew her”.

Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson said it was an “appalling act of evil” and urged anyone with information to “come forward”, adding: “Guns have no place in our communities.”

West Derby’s Labour MP Ian Byrne, whose constituency includes Kingsheath Avenue, said locals were “all struggling to process” what had happened.

He said there was “lots of anger out there… lots of outrage, disbelief that this could happen in our community”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel offered her “heartfelt condolences” to Olivia’s family and said Merseyside Police had her “full support and will receive any additional resources they need”.

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer said in a tweet that his thoughts were Olivia’s family as it was “devastating news, for them and their community”, while Liberal Democrats leader Ed Davey tweeted that it was “a heartbreaking tragedy for Liverpool and the whole country”.

A large police presence remains in the area following the shooting

On the same night, a woman was found with a fatal stab wound in her chest in a pub car park in Kirkby, while on Sunday, 28-year-old council worker Ashley Dale died after being shot in the Old Swan area of Liverpool.

Police are also still searching for two people who fled on electric bikes after Sam Rimmer, who was in his early 20s, was shot in Toxteth on 16 August.

Monday was also the 15th anniversary of the murder of 11-year-old Rhys Jones, who was mistakenly shot by a gang member in Croxteth on his way home from football practice in 2007.

Merseyside Police said there was nothing to indicate that Olivia’s shooting was linked to other recent killings, but officers were keeping an open mind to follow any potential leads.

They added that the attack on the 35-year-old man was targeted and was believed to be related to organised crime.

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