A 34-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, nearly six weeks after she was shot at her home in Liverpool.
Thomas Cashman, from West Derby, is accused of killing nine-year-old Olivia, who died after convicted burglar Joseph Nee was chased into her family’s property in Dovecot on August 22.
He has also been charged with the attempted murders of Olivia’s mother, Cheryl Korbel, 46, who was injured during the incident, and Nee.
He faces two further counts of possessing a firearm to endanger life.
A second man, Paul Russell, 40, also from West Derby, has been charged with assisting an offender.
Both defendants will appear at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on Monday, Chief Crown Prosecutor Maria Corr said at a press conference at Merseyside Police headquarters on Saturday.
Ms Corr said the charges had been authorised following “the review of a file of evidence received from Merseyside Police”.
Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen said the police remained committed to finding all those involved in the tragedy, including “the people who have tried to shield and protect individuals”.
He said: “Our work continues in earnest. At the beginning of the investigation we were firm in our commitment to finding all of those involved in this case, which includes the people who have tried to shield and protect individuals, and those who have supplied the weapon or are hiding the weapons used in this incident.
“We have had an overwhelming response and support from the public since the tragic murder of Olivia and I would ask for your continued support so we can keep the promise we made to Olivia’s family and the local community to ensure that those involved face justice.”
DCS Kameen concluded by praising the “incredible strength, courage and dignity” of Olivia’s parents and family.
Since Olivia’s death, there have 11 arrests so far. Nine men were previously detained as part of the wide-scale investigation, all of whom were later bailed.
The Crimestoppers reward for information to catch the alleged killer was also increased to a record £200,000 – the charity’s biggest ever single offer.
Rebecca Wilkinson, the headteacher of St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School in Huyton, said the nine-year-old “oozed kindness” and would be remembered for her smile.
“We have had counsellors in every class,” she said.
“(The children) are devastated at the loss of their friend, they truly are, but the counselling has definitely helped and we have been so proud of the resilience the children have shown since they’ve been back.”
Olivia’s funeral was held in September, at St Margaret Mary’s Church in Knotty Ash.