Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s dad releases emotional video following murder of nine year old in Liverpool

“Those responsible need to know what they have done.”

The dad of a nine-year-old girl shot dead in her Dovecot home has spoken publicly for the first time to pay tribute and describe her as a ‘real bright spark who loved to laugh’.

John Francis Pratt said the death of his daughter Olivia Pratt-Korbel, gunned down by a cowardly gunman last month, ‘cannot be in vain’ in a statement issued on Tuesday.

He also released a video of him with his daughter at a Christmas Market in Liverpool in which she can be seen giggling and cuddling her dad.

The tragic youngster was shot dead by a masked gunman who burst into her home on Kingsheath Avenue on August 22 and opened fire.

Olivia was shot in the chest as she got ready for bed in her family’s home on the 15th anniversary of the death of 11-year-old Rhys Jones, who was shot as he walked home from football practice in the city.

The gunman’s intended target - convicted burglar Joseph Nee, burst into the house to flee the shooter, who opened fire after he forced his way into the house.

Joseph Nee has been named as the intended target of the shooting that killed nine-year old Olivia Pratt-Korbel on Monday
Joseph Nee has been named as the intended target of the shooting that killed nine-year old Olivia Pratt-Korbel on Monday
Joseph Nee has been named as the intended target of the shooting that killed nine-year old Olivia Pratt-Korbel on Monday

In a statement released through Merseyside Police, John said words could not express the pain he and his wider family are going through ‘after Olivia was so cruelly snatched away from us’.

He added: “Those responsible need to know what they have done.

“Olivia was a real bright spark who knew her own mind, had no problem making friends. She would talk to anyone and loved to laugh and make people laugh.

“She could be a proper wind up merchant and loved to wind her nieces up, particularly those who were older than her and when they didn’t like it she’d just laugh and say ‘don’t forget I’m your aunty’.

“Olivia’s future has been cruelly snatched away from her and we have been deprived of a real light in our lives.

“We know that there has been an exceptional response to police appeals and we would like to thank those who have come forward.

“At the same time we want to urge others who may have evidence to keep coming forward with information which could help put those responsible for our Olivia’s murder behind bars.”

Detectives investigating the murder were given a further extension of 36 hours to continue questioning three men arrested on Sunday.

Merseyside Police said a 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

A 41-year-old man from Knowsley and a 29-year-old man have both been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

John added: “We have been really taken aback by the kindness and support we have received from family, friends and neighbours in the last two weeks and we would like to thank them for being there for us.

“We know that most people on Merseyside are good-hearted and kind just like them and we all need to stand together.

“We don’t want another child to lose their life in such horrendous circumstances and we don’t want to see another family suffer like we are suffering now.”

Detectives have appealed for further CCTV and dashcam or smart doorbell footage that could help its inquiries.

And heartbroken John has urged anyone with information come forward, adding: “Olivia’s death cannot be in vain and we want people to feel safe and be safe, that can only happen if we all come together and make sure there is no place for guns, or those who use guns on our streets or in our communities.

“If you have information make sure you tell the police and if you don’t feel able to do that give the information to Crimestoppers anonymously so action can be taken.

“If you can’t do it for yourself, do it in Olivia’s name and for children across Merseyside who deserve to enjoy their lives to the full.”