25 August 2022

Several names given to police hunting killer of nine-year-old Olivia

25 August 2022

Names of a number of potential suspects have been provided to police searching for the gunman who shot nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel.

The schoolgirl died on Monday night after a man was chased into her home, in the Dovecot area of Liverpool, by a masked shooter who killed Olivia and injured her mother Cheryl, 46.

On Thursday, Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen said police were pursuing a number of “positive lines of enquiry” and warned the killer: “We will not rest until we find you and we will find you.”

Olivia Pratt-Korbel, who was shot in her home in Liverpool (Family handout/PA) (PA Media)

Speaking at a media briefing at Merseyside Police HQ, he said: “We have had a number of names provided to us.”

He told reporters it was unclear if the gunman may have fled overseas, but said: “We will find him wherever he goes.”

Convicted burglar Joseph Nee, 35, from the Dovecot area of Liverpool, has been named as the intended target of the shooting.

As Olivia lay dying, he was picked up by friends in a black Audi Q3 and taken to hospital.

Police said the two people in the Audi had been traced and spoken to by officers.

Another man, who was with Nee at the time of the shooting on Kingsheath Avenue, had also been spoken to, the force said.

Nee has not been named by police, but Mr Kameen said the 35-year-old man who was injured in the shooting remained in hospital and would be returned to prison following treatment after having his licence revoked.

Olivia’s mother has now been released from hospital.

Organised crime gangs which operated in the area and ongoing feuds are being looked into as part of the investigation, Mr Kameen said.

Convicted burglar Joseph Nee was the intended target of the shooting (Cheshire Police/PA) (PA Media)

He praised the level of support from communities as “phenomenal”, but continued to appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

He added: “We have had information from a wide variety of sources.

“I would appeal to all our members of the community to engage with us with each of these horrific murders, provide us with the information we need to identify those who are responsible and, again, I would ask those who operate in the criminal fraternity to search their consciences around these three attacks and come forward.”

Asked for his opinion of the gunman, the detective said: “I struggle to find the words to describe that individual and what they’ve done.

“And the fact that having found out (a child had died), and they will know what they have done, they still do not have the conscience to come forward and give themselves up.

“I think that speaks volumes of the individual that we’re dealing with.

“Nonetheless, we will not rest until we find him.”

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

She went to St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School in Huyton, where she was thought of as a kind-hearted, helpful and happy little girl, according to her headteacher Rebecca Wilkinson.

The killing came 15 years after 11-year-old Rhys Jones was shot dead on his way home from football practice in Croxteth, Liverpool.

It was also one of three fatal shootings in the area in the space of a week.

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