A police officer tried to save the life of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel by using his hand to cover her gunshot wound as he carried her into hospital, an inquest has heard.
Andre Rebello, the senior coroner for Liverpool who dealt with the death of 11-year-old Rhys Jones after he was shot in Croxteth, Liverpool, 15 years ago, spoke of his shock as he opened the inquest into the fatal shooting of another child in the city.
The hearing at Gerard Majella Courthouse on Tuesday was told Merseyside Police officers “scooped and ran” with Olivia after they were called to the incident in Dovecot at about 10pm on Monday August 22.
Mr Rebello said: “Armed response officers attended and a nine-year-old child, Olivia Pratt-Korbel, was discovered with a gunshot wound to her chest.
“Police officers scooped and ran with Olivia to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in the back of a police car.
“At approximately 10.15pm she was brought into the main entrance in the arms of a police officer.
“The officer had covered the wound to her chest with his hand and she was noted to have a weak heart which had stopped prior to her arrival in hospital.”
He said medical teams met Olivia as she arrived at the hospital and a major trauma call was put out.
Cardiac massage and a rapid blood transfusion were given to Olivia at the hospital, but at 11.15pm she had no cardiac output, the coroner said.
It is shocking that a nine-year-old little girl, with a full life in front of her, is shot anywhere, but to be shot in her own home, in the safety of her home, is heinous and unforgiving
“At 11.25pm, after extensive efforts by all involved, the decision was made to stop resuscitation and Olivia was confirmed as having died,” Mr Rebello said.
“I understand there’s a live homicide investigation and though there have been several arrests nobody stands charged with murder.”
The coroner added: “Fifteen years ago I was the coroner in Liverpool and the death of Rhys was reported to me.
“It is quite shocking that society has not changed for the better.
“It is shocking that a nine-year-old little girl, with a full life in front of her, is shot anywhere, but to be shot in her own home, in the safety of her home, is heinous and unforgiving.
“There must be people in Liverpool, or elsewhere by now, who know precisely by what means Olivia died and who was responsible for her death.
“Olivia’s death will not just affect her immediate family and friends but also school communities, church communities, not just in the Knotty Ash and Dovecot areas of Liverpool but the whole city, Merseyside, and I know right across this country people are shocked by Olivia’s death.
“I understand Merseyside Police would be very grateful for anyone with any information who could bring some knowledge to the circumstances in which Olivia came by her death, no matter how insignificant that information may be.”
The inquest heard that Olivia was born in Liverpool to mother Cheryl Korbel, a support worker, and father John Francis Pratt, a mechanic.
A post-mortem examination found her medical cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest, Mr Rebello said.
He released the body to the family for burial and adjourned the inquest to January 4.
A 36-year-old man from Huyton and a 33-year-old from Dovecot were arrested on suspicion of murder and two counts of attempted murder in relation to Olivia’s death last week and have been released on bail.