Liverpool shooting: Intended victim of gunman who killed nine-year-old girl arrested

The 35-year-old man targeted by the masked gunman who killed Olivia Pratt-Korbel has been arrested for breaching the terms of his release from prison and will be questioned in connection with the nine-year-old’s murder.

Olivia was fatally shot in her own home in the Dovecot area of Liverpool on Monday night when the intended victim forced his way in as he tried to escape the gunman chasing him.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen said the 35-year-old had allegedly breached his licence conditions with “poor behaviour” and had been detained in hospital.

Hide Ad

A statement from Merseyside Police said: “A 35-year-old man, suspected to have been the target of the shooting, has been detained in hospital on a prison recall after breaching the terms of his licence.

A young girl lays a tribute in Kingsheath Avenue in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, where nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was fatally shot on Monday night. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Hide Ad

“He will be recalled to prison to serve the remainder of his licence. He will be further questioned in connection with the murder and remains in a stable condition.”

The man, who had entered the family home, suffered gunshot wounds to his upper body and, as Olivia lay dying, was picked up and taken to hospital by friends driving a dark-coloured Audi.

Hide Ad

He was freed from prison on licence last year, it is understood, when he was automatically released part-way through a fixed jail term.

The crimes which put him behind bars are not thought to have been firearms-related or involving serious violence, and the alleged breach of his licence conditions is as a result of Monday’s shooting.

Hide Ad

He is not believed to have been living in probation-run accommodation, and his case is yet to be referred to the Parole Board, which reviews offenders who are recalled to prison to decide when they can be re-released.

Olivia’s death is one of three fatal shootings in the area in the space of a week. It comes 15 years after 11-year-old Rhys Jones was fatally shot on his way home from football practice in Croxteth, Liverpool.

Hide Ad

Officers from Merseyside Police carried out a series of raids targeting gun crime in the city on Wednesday as tributes continued to pour in for the schoolgirl.

The force’s Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said the “shocking” killing “crosses every single boundary” as the force appealed to the “criminal fraternity” in Liverpool for information.

Hide Ad

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen said investigators had received CCTV and names from members of the public.

He told the BBC: “We are receiving CCTV, we are receiving names, we are receiving information. People are telling us where they were and what areas they were in, which is absolutely fantastic.”

Hide Ad

Urging the community “to keep helping this family in every way possible”, he said in a further statement: “Our inquiries continue into the shocking murder of Olivia, and supporting her family as they try to come to terms with this tragedy.

“We will do all we can to take all of these involved in gun crime off the streets, as this arrest demonstrates.

Hide Ad

“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.”

Hide Ad

Olivia was at home with her two older siblings when her mother Cheryl Korbel opened the door after hearing gunshots fired outside.

Ms Korbel, 46, was shot in the wrist as she tried to close the door on the gunman while Olivia stood behind her.

Hide Ad

The gunman was wearing a black padded jacket, a black balaclava with a peak, dark trousers and black gloves, and had fired shots at two men walking along Kingsheath Avenue, causing them to flee.

Tributes including flowers and teddies have been left near the scene of the shooting amid shock at Olivia’s death.

Comments

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.