Police are pursuing “a number of very positive investigative leads” as they track down the gunman who killed a nine-year-old girl in Liverpool.
Olivia Pratt-Korbel was shot dead by a masked assailant while at her home on Kingsheath Avenue in the city’s Dovecot area on Monday night.
He hunted 35-year-old convicted burglar Joseph Neewho ran into the adjoining house to escape the shooter.
Giving an update on the investigation into the “brutal, callous and reckless attack”, Merseyside Police Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen said the man had not turned himself in.
“We won’t rest until we find you – and we will find you,” he said.
Nee was the intended target – not Olivia, who was at home with her mother and two older siblings when she was shot by the shooter, firing with “complete disregard” into the property, police said .
Olivia was shot in the chest as she stood behind her mother, who was fighting to close the front door.
Cheryl Korbel, 46, was shot in the wrist. The youngster was fatally hit by the same bullet.
Nee – who was released from prison on license last year, it seems, when he was automatically released midway through a fixed prison term – suffered a gunshot wound to the upper body.
As Olivia lay dying in her mother’s arms, he was picked up and taken to hospital by friends driving a dark colored Audi which has since been impounded by police.
Despite being rushed to a children’s hospital by police, Olivia died from her injuries in what police called a “shocking and appalling” crime.
The shooter was described as wearing a black padded jacket, a black balaclava with a visor, dark pants and black gloves.
He shot two men as they walked along Kingsheath Avenue, causing them both to flee – Nee into Olivia’s house.
Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen revealed members of the community presented names and CCTV footage – and Merseyside Police Chief Constable Serena Kennedy appealed to Liverpool’s ‘criminal fraternity’ to get information.
Merseyside Police officers carried out a series of raids targeting gun crime in the town on Wednesday as tributes continued to pour in for the schoolgirl.
Olivia went to St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Huyton, where she was considered a kind-hearted, helpful and happy little girl.
Headmistress Rebecca Wilkinson said: “Olivia was a much loved member of our school. She had a lovely smile, lovely sense of humor and a bubbly personality.
“She had a good heart and went out of her way to help others.”
Nee was detained in hospital and will be called back to prison for violating the conditions of his release.
He will next be questioned about Olivia’s murder and remains in stable condition, police said.
Nee was jailed for 45 months in 2018 after he and two other men led police on a high-speed chase.
He admitted two counts of burglary, two counts of motor vehicle theft, dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving while impaired.
In November 2009, he was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court for six-and-a-half years for being a ‘low level player’ in a multi-million pound drug smuggling ring.