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9-year-old girl shot in Liverpool: A name given to police today and man arrested.

Liverpool/Merseyside Police officers

As the Merseyside Police and Crimes Team continue to hunt for the gunman who shot dead a 9-year-old girl at her home in Liverpool, the same name of a suspect was provided today by two sources. At this time, a 35-year-old man who was also shot in the attack has just been arrested.

Shooting of 9-year-old on Monday in Liverpool

On Tuesday morning, the nation woke up to shocking news that nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was killed by a masked attacker at about 22:00 BST in the Dovecot area on Monday night.

Reportedly the gunman had “fired indiscriminately”, resulting in Olivia and her mother Cheryl Korbel being hit in the wrist and body. The gunman who shot Olivia and her mother reportedly fired an additional two rounds through a gap in the door, hitting the upper body of a man. The description of the man initially provided was that he is about 5ft 7 in (170cm) of a slim build. In addition, the gunman was described as wearing a black padded jacket, black balaclava, and black gloves.

Names and Investigation

Merseyside Police stated that the family did not have a connection to the two gunmen. Chief Constable Serena Kennedy made an initial appeal for anyone with information, affirming that “now was not the time to remain tight-lipped.”

Ms Kennedy added that officers who were sent to the scene remarked at “how poorly Olivia was” as they rushed to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where she sadly passed away in spite of the round the clock medical attention provided.

Ms Kennedy extended the call for further information by adding that “Not just the gunman, we need to find who supplied the weapon and who arranged this terrible incident.”

Merseyside forensic experts at the scene have expanded the search by conducting house-to-house inquires and reviewing CCTV footage to establish and identify culprits.

Following a name being provided today, Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell, told the BBC that she was “really pleased to hear information is coming forward.”

National and Neighbourhood Shock

Boris Johnson is said to have described the attack as “horrific” and “senseless”. He went on to promise Merseyside Police that they would receive “whatever they need to catch those responsible and secure justice for Olivia.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson extended the call for additional information, remarking that “someone out there knows who did this … abhorrent act of evil.”

Councillor Barbara Murray told the BBC that “Coming forward, you don’t have to go to the police. Liverpool has got 90 councillors; I think any one of them would liaise with police on behalf of anybody who wants to give information.”

Closer to the scene, neighbour Marie Reilly, who has lived in the area for 36 years said that her partner heard four gunshots which sounded like fireworks going off. Adding that because it had happened at her doorstep coupled with the spike in crime in the city, she believes it is “time to move.”

Increased Crime

The tragic killing of Olivia comes alongside a series of several spikes in violent criminality in Liverpool. It is reported that on the same night, a woman was found with a fatal stab wound. The night before on Sunday a 28-year-old council worker named Ashley Dale died after being shot in the Old Swan area.

Further to this, police are continuing to search for two people who fled on electric bikes after a man in his early 20’s named Sam Rimmer, was shot in Toxteth on the 16th of August.

Tragically, Monday evening was the 15th anniversary for the shooting of 11-year-old Rhys Jones. Jones was shot in a gang styled attack because of mistaken identity in Croxteth as he made his way home from football practice in 2007.

Final Thought

The killing of 9-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel is a shocking tragedy that chilled the nation. It is clear that more funding for Merseyside Police is a key requirement to combat criminality. Namely, since the reduction of 20,000 police officers since 2010, gun and knife crime is growing nationwide, including in Liverpool.

It is clear that a cross party solution is needed to tackle this growing criminality. It should not be for neighbours like Ms Reilly to conclude that the only solution to obtaining a peaceful and crime free home is to move.

This recent tragedy occurring on the same day as the 2011 tragic killing of Rhys Jones is a damning incident that demonstrates that increased funding and community liaisons are needed more than ever.

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