Police tried to save Olivia by using his hand to cover her wound

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 ‘scooped her up and ran’ into hospital, inquest hears

  • Olivia Pratt-Korbel was tragically shot in her Liverpool home by a masked gunman last Monday
  • Inquest has heard how police tried to save her life by using his hand to cover her gunshot wound
  • Senior coroner spoke of his horror at the death of yet another child in a shooting in Liverpool 

A police officer desperately tried to save the life of little Olivia Pratt-Korbel by ‘scooping and running’ into her home in Liverpool and using his hand to cover her gunshot wound as he carried her into hospital, an inquest into the appalling murder has today heard.

The tragic nine-year-old was shot in the chest after a balaclava-clad gunman and former heroin dealer Joseph Nee – whom he was trying to shoot – barged into her home in the Dovecot area of the city at around 10pm on Monday in a suspected gangland feud .

The innocent family had no connection to the gangsters and Olivia’s mother Cheryl had only opened the front door after hearing the commotion outside. She desperately tried to barricade it shut but was shot in the wrist by the bullet that then hit her daughter. Two more bullets were fired into Nee, 35, before the gunman fled.

Detectives have released two men arrested on suspicion of murdering Olivia after Merseyside Police said they need to be able to ‘build up a strong evidential picture’ – and reiterated their appeal for information about a vehicle at the scene on the night of the shooting. 

Opening the inquest into her death at Gerard Majella Courthouse, 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 – told the inquest of his horror at yet another fatal shooting in the city.

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.

A police officer desperately tried to save the life of little Olivia Pratt-Korbel by ‘scooping and running’ into her home in Liverpool and using his hand to cover her gunshot wound as he carried her into hospital

Flowers are left near to the scene of an incident in Kingsheath Avenue, Knotty Ash, Liverpool

A police officer with a sniffer dog at the scene of the shooting in Liverpool 

Wellwishers calling themselves ‘the Nee family’ have left a note near the house where nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was shot dead, it emerged today – days after the ‘intended target’ Joseph Nee was arrested.

Olivia was fatally shot when a gunman chased the convicted burglar into her family home in Dovecot before opening fire in an atrocity that also injured her mother, Cheryl, 46.

The note attached to flowers read, ‘So sorry for your loss of beautiful Olivia. Rest in peace, thinking of all [the family].’ It is not known if the ‘Nee family’ refers to Joseph Nee’s relatives.

‘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.

‘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.

Joseph Nee, who it is understood was the intended victim of the shooting that killed nine-year-old Olivia

A young girl lays a tribute in Kingsheath Avenue, Knotty Ash, Liverpool where Olivia was fatally shot

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.

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