Olivia Pratt-Korbel: Girl, 9, killed while standing behind mother by gunman who fired into Liverpool home
- Girl killed in Liverpool shooting named as Olivia Pratt-Korbel
- She was shot in the chest at her home on Kingsheath Avenue on Monday
- Olivia was standing behind her mother, Cheryl, at the front door when she was shot
- A 35-year-old man who was being chased by a gunman forced his way into the house
- The gunman fired 'with complete disregard' into the home
- Olivia's mother was shot in the hand
- The 35-year-old man was shot in the upper body
- He was taken away from the scene by his friends in a car as Olivia lay dying
- The gunman, who was wearing a balaclava and black gloves, fled on foot
- Police have appealed to the gunman to hand himself in
A nine-year-old girl has died after being shot when a man chased by a gunman forced his way into her home in Liverpool.
Olivia Pratt-Korbel suffered a gunshot injury to the chest and was taken in a critical condition to hospital, where she later died.
She was shot at about 10pm on Monday while standing behind her mother Cheryl at the front door after a 35-year-old man being chased by a gunman tried to force his way in.
Watch: Police 'will not rest' until killer of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, 9, is caught
The 35-year-old forced his way into the house after Cheryl opened the door to see what was going on after the gunman fired several shots in the street.
Neither man is connected to the family, police said.
Merseyside Police said the gunman fired "with complete disregard" through the front door of the house on Kingsheath Avenue, Knotty Ash, hitting Olivia in the chest and her mother in the hand.
The 35-year-old man was shot in the upper body. Police said that as Olivia lay dying, his friends arrived in a black Audi and took him away from the scene to hospital. The vehicle has since been seized by police.
Police are still hunting the gunman who fled the scene.
Merseyside Police chief constable Serena Kennedy revealed details of the shooting in a press conference at lunchtime on Tuesday.
She said it was an "abhorrent crime" and that police will "leave no stone unturned" in finding Olivia's killer.
Police have pleaded for the gunman to turn himself in.
The girl died on the 15th anniversary of the murder of 11-year-old Rhys Jones, who was shot in Croxteth, Liverpool, on 22 August 2007.
Kennedy said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with Olivia’s family, who have been torn apart.
Read more: 'Sadistic' burglar who raped mother and teenage daughter jailed for life
“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."
Kennedy said: “At 10pm last night, our officers were called to Olivia’s home on Kingsheath Avenue and when we arrived we found three people had been injured, including Olivia and her mum.
“It is believed that one of the injured parties, a 35-year-old man, was being chased by a man armed with a gun who was firing at him.
“The man being chased forced his way into Olivia’s house and the offender ran in after him, firing a number of shots with complete disregard for Olivia and her family, who had no connection with the gunman or the man who forced his way in.
“Sadly, Olivia was fatally wounded when the gunman fired at the man who was trying to get into the house, and her mum also suffered a gunshot to her wrist.
“The 35-year-old man who had been chased suffered a number of gunshots to his upper body. Whilst Olivia lay dying, he was picked up by his friends who took him to hospital.”
Kennedy, who became visibly emotional during the press conference, said: “We will not rest until those who are responsible are put behind bars. I can guarantee that no stone will be left unturned."
Detective chief superintendent Mark Kameen the incident began when two men were walking along Kingsheath Avenue from the direction of Finch Lane.
He said they were approached by "a lone person, potentially a male", about 5ft 7inches and of slim build, who was wearing a black padded jacket, a black balaclava with a peak, dark pants and black gloves.
"This individual was approximately 5ft 7ins tall and of slim build, and they were carrying a handgun," he said.
After reviewing CCTV footage from the scene, police said they had established that the armed individual shot at the two men.
Watch: Murder investigation after girl, 9, shot dead in Liverpool
Kameen said: “Responding to the sounds of those gunshots, 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.”
Police said the attacker continued to try to gain entry, firing two more shots at the 35-year-old man. The attacker then left on foot before the black Audi arrived to pick up the 35-year-old man.
Liverpool West Derby MP Ian Byrne said: “It’s been exceedingly difficult listening to obviously the news this morning and then getting more details this afternoon of the horrific incidents around Olivia’s death.
“There’s lots and lots of anger out there at the moment. There’s lots of outrage, disbelief that this could happen in our community.”
Rebecca Wilkinson, the headteacher of Olivia's school, St Margaret Mary's Catholic Junior School in Huyton, told the Liverpool Echo: "Our school community is devastated at the sad loss of Olivia.
“Olivia was a much loved member of our school. She had a beautiful smile, a lovely sense of humour, and a bubbly personality. She was kind hearted and would go out of her way to help others. She loved to perform and recently participated in the school production of The Wizard of Oz."
The mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, tweeted on Tuesday: "Fifteen years to the day that Rhys Jones was murdered, another innocent child of our city becomes a victim to gun crime.
"Has nothing been learned? Enough is enough.
"This is an appalling act of evil. If you know something, you must come forward. Guns have no place in our communities."
Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: “This is a truly shocking incident in which tragically a young and innocent girl has been shot and sadly died.
“This crime is abhorrent and our communities must come forward and tell us who is responsible.
“This cowardly individual does not deserve to be walking the streets and I would urge those who know anything to speak to us and tell us what they know so that we can put the person responsible behind bars where they belong.
Liverpool Wavertree Labour MP Paula Barker told BBC Breakfast on Tuesday: “It is obviously devastating and it comes 15 years to the day after Rhys Jones was senselessly murdered on the streets of our city as well.
"It is completely unacceptable and this mindless violence simply has to stop.
“I think, as a city, we come together in adversity and I know people in Liverpool will be absolutely horrified this morning.”
Barker said it took “so many years” to get justice for Rhys and urged anyone with information to contact Merseyside Police.
“We cannot allow that to happen to the family of this little girl,” she said.
One resident reported hearing four gunshots on Monday night.
Another, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s really disgusting and it will not be tolerated around here.
“It’s just been the anniversary of Rhys Jones’s death.
“I believe because a child was involved people will name the culprit and he deserves to be named because he is a coward.”
A local woman, who did not want to be named, said the shooting made her worry for her own children.
“It’s devastating. It can’t carry on like this,” she said.
“I have four boys and for this to happen on our own doorstep is shocking.
“The streets here are always full of kids playing.”
Assistant mayor and councillor for Knotty Ash Harry Doyle said: “People are devastated about the fact that a nine-year-old girl has lost her life and obviously really concerned.
“Lots of people round here have got children and it’s just absolutely devastating.
“The community is shook. You look around and people are on their doorsteps and they don’t know quite what to think or say, you’ve got mums hugging their kids. It’s very real, these kids will be playing out on the streets together and it’s just awful.”
Merseyside Police have asked anyone with information to direct message @MerPolCC or call @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting log 1083 of 22 August.
Watch: Liverpool MP calls for end to 'mindless violence' after girl, 9, shot dead