Olivia Pratt-Korbel: burglar identified as target of Liverpool shooting that killed girl

Police have not formally named target but say he was in hospital and recalled to prison

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A burglar has been identified as the intended target of the shooting that killed Olivia Pratt-Korbel, 9, in Liverpool on Monday.

It is understood that the man hurt in the violence that killed Olivia and wounded her mother is Joseph Nee, 35, from the Dovecot area of Liverpool.

He forced his way into the family home while trying to flee a masked gunman, and while the little girl lay dying, Nee, who was also shot, was taken to hospital by his friends in a black Audi.

Merseyside Police have refused to publicly identify Nee, but earlier said a 35-year-old man injured in the shooting would be recalled to prison for breaching the terms of his release.

Det Chief Supt Mark Kameen said the man breached his licence conditions with “poor behaviour” and had been detained in hospital.

Nee was jailed for 45 months in 2018 after he and two other men led police on a high-speed chase.

He admitted to two counts of burglary, two counts of theft of a motor vehicle, dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving while disqualified.

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

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

Police officers carried out raids against gun crime in the city on Wednesday as tributes continued to pour in for the schoolgirl.

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

“We are receiving CCTV, we are receiving names, we are receiving information," Mr Kameen told the BBC.

"People are telling us where they were and what areas they were in, which is absolutely fantastic."

He urged the community “to keep helping this family in every way possible”.

“Our inquiries continue into the shocking murder of Olivia, and supporting her family as they try to come to terms with this tragedy," Mr Kameen said.

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

“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.

“If you saw, heard, captured or know anything, tell us directly or anonymously and we will continue to act.”

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

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

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 in Kingsheath Avenue, causing them to flee.

Olivia’s family on Wednesday evening released three pictures of the girl.

Tributes including flowers and stuffed toys have been left near the scene of the shooting amid shock at her 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, her head teacher Rebecca Wilkinson said.

“Olivia was a much-loved member of our school," Ms Wilkinson said. "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.”

Updated: August 26, 2022, 4:58 AM
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