Olivia Pratt-Korbel: Moment cops swooped on gunman suspected of murdering little Olivia


This is the moment that armed police swooped on the masked gunman suspected of murdering little Olivia Pratt-Korbel in a raid on a block of flats in Liverpool.

Merseyside Police released aerial footage showing the 36-year-old man being arrested in the Huyton area of the city as well as an image of the car – an Audi Q3 – believed to have taken the intended target of the shooting to hospital.

Locals described seeing officers from the force’s Matrix organised crime unit storm a flat on the third floor at about 10pm last night. 

The suspect was also arrested on two counts of attempted murder and is currently in custody where he is being questioned by detectives. The attempted murder charges refer to Olivia’s mother, Cheryl, who was shot in the wrist, and Nee, who was also shot and left seriously injured.

A resident of Birkdale Court, where flats sell for an average of £100,000, described how police ‘cordoned off the whole area’. They told MailOnline: ‘About ten plain-clothes police came up the stairs. They all had guns. After I saw that I shut the door.’

A second added: ‘I came home and the police told me to go away for about 10 minutes. When they let me into the compound. I saw about 15 police officers outside the flat. Some of them were heavily armed.’ A third resident, a tradesman, said he saw a man ‘being taken away by police’ last night.

Police forensic teams continued to search a third-floor apartment, where a couple in their 30s live. Bags of evidence were seen being carried out if the flat, while armed police continue to guard the entrance.

Merseyside Police released aerial footage that shows the moment that a 36-year-old man was arrested in the Huyton area on suspicion of murder

Merseyside Police released aerial footage that shows the moment that a 36-year-old man was arrested in the Huyton area on suspicion of murder

The infra-red drone footage of officers catches the moment that police officers raided a flat at about 10pm

 The infra-red drone footage of officers catches the moment that police officers raided a flat at about 10pm

An image of the Audi Q3 which is believed to have taken the intended target of the shooting to hospital was also released

An image of the Audi Q3 which is believed to have taken the intended target of the shooting to hospital was also released

Olivia Pratt-Korbel, nine, was gunned down inside her family home after a balaclava-clad gunman burst in at night in pursuit of drug dealer Joseph Nee. Olivia's mother, Cheryl, was also shot in the wrist and Nee was left seriously injured

Olivia Pratt-Korbel, nine, was gunned down inside her family home after a balaclava-clad gunman burst in at night in pursuit of drug dealer Joseph Nee. Olivia’s mother, Cheryl, was also shot in the wrist and Nee was left seriously injured

Today Home Secretary Priti Patel visited Kingsheath Avenue, where Olivia lived with her family. Ms Patel said she would give Merseyside Police an extra £350,000 to focus on ‘getting weapons off the streets’ and tackling organised crime. She also launched a £150,000 ‘care package’ for Liverpool residents.

But Liverpool Labour metro mayor Steve Rotheram refused to believe that the care package is enough to tackle gun crime in Liverpool after a spate of shootings.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, he said: ‘She announced the half a million pounds package, but that can only be a starter.

‘I told her that that needs to be a down payment, as we look to what interventions are actually necessary to educate people at an earlier age, to ensure that there are interventions, that there are diversionary activities for people, that the society can reknit and grow together.

‘So, there’s a whole host of things I think we need to do and she’s promised to go away and have a look at how we can achieve those things collectively.’

Ms Patel is yet to meet Olivia’s family but told reporters she is ‘getting in contact’ with them and said her thoughts are with them at this ‘really devastating and sad time.’

This morning, former Liverpool FC player Ian Rush and ex-Everton player Ian Snodin added floral wreaths to the other flowers, balloons and teddies left in Olivia’s memory at the police cordon. 

On the flowers from Everton, a message read: ‘RIP Olivia. No words will lessen the pain or explain such a tragedy. Our city stands united. Forever in our thoughts.’ A card on the tribute from Liverpool said: ‘Rest in peace, Olivia, with deepest sympathy from all of us at Liverpool Football Club. ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.’ 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said the shooting was a ‘tragedy’. He added: ‘This is our city. Usually we like to say ‘this is LFC city’ or ‘Everton city’, but in these moments we have to realise it’s our city. Whatever we can do together, we have to do it. I don’t like the moments that it happens, but I like the fact that we are then united and support with all we have.’ 

Merseyside Police today announced it has begun armed patrols around the local area in order to ‘reassure’ residents.   

Residents of Birkdale Court described seeing officers from Merseyside Police's Matrix organised crime unit storm a flat on the third floor at about 10pm

Residents of Birkdale Court described seeing officers from Merseyside Police’s Matrix organised crime unit storm a flat on the third floor at about 10pm

A resident of Birkdale Court, where flats sell for an average of £100,000, described how police 'cordoned off the whole area'

A resident of Birkdale Court, where flats sell for an average of £100,000, described how police ‘cordoned off the whole area’

Merseyside Police today announced it has begun armed patrols around the local area in order to 'reassure' residents

Merseyside Police today announced it has begun armed patrols around the local area in order to ‘reassure’ residents

Secretary Priti Patel (centre left) visits the scene this afternoon in Kingsheath Avenue, Knotty Ash, Liverpool

Secretary Priti Patel (centre left) visits the scene this afternoon in Kingsheath Avenue, Knotty Ash, Liverpool 

This morning, former Liverpool FC player Ian Rush (right) and ex-Everton player Ian Snodin added floral wreaths to the other flowers, balloons and teddies left in Olivia's memory at the police cordon

This morning, former Liverpool FC player Ian Rush (right) and ex-Everton player Ian Snodin added floral wreaths to the other flowers, balloons and teddies left in Olivia’s memory at the police cordon

Rush and Snodin visit the scene in Kingsheath Avenue, Knotty Ash, Liverpool, where nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was fatally shot on Monday night

Rush and Snodin visit the scene in Kingsheath Avenue, Knotty Ash, Liverpool, where nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was fatally shot on Monday night

Last night Olivia’s family paid tribute to her, describing her as ‘unique, chatty, nosey little girl who broke the mould when she was born’. 

In their first statement since the nine-year-old was gunned down by a masked gunman, they said she ‘loved life and all it had to offer’.

They added: ‘If anyone knows anything, now is the time to speak up. It is not about being a ‘snitch’ or a ‘grass’, it is about finding out who took our baby away from us.

‘Liv was a unique chatty, nosey little girl who broke the mould when she was born. Liv loved dressing up and was very particular on how she was dressed, like any other little girl she loved doing her makeup and nails, she was nine going on 19.

‘Liv was adored by everyone who knew her and would instantly make friends with anyone and everyone. She was often seen going up and down the street on her new bike she had just got for her birthday.

Olivia’s family appeal for people to ‘do the right thing’ in a statement 

‘Liv was a unique, chatty, nosey little girl who broke the mould when she was born. She loved life and all it had to offer.

‘Liv loved dressing up and was very particular on how she was dressed, like any other little girl she loved doing her makeup and nails, she was nine going on 19.

‘Liv was adored by everyone who knew her and would instantly make friends with anyone and everyone. She was often seen going up and down the street on her new bike she had just got for her birthday.

‘Although her life was short, her personality certainly wasn’t and she lived it to the most she could, and would blow people away with her wit and kindness.

‘We as a family are heartbroken and have lost a huge part of our life.

‘If anyone knows anything, now is the time to speak up. It is not about being a ‘snitch’ or a ‘grass’ it is about finding out who took our baby away from us. PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING.

‘We as a family are eternally grateful for the help and support we have received from people across the world.

‘We are also thankful to Merseyside police for the outstanding work and to the staff at Alder Hey and Aintree hospitals.’  

‘Although her life was short, her personality certainly wasn’t and she lived it to the most she could, and would blow people away with her wit and kindness. We as a family are heartbroken and have lost a huge part of our life.’  

Olivia’s mother Cheryl, 46, was shot through the wrist by the same bullet that struck her little girl who was standing behind her in their Liverpool home.

Tragically she had opened her front door, on Monday evening, just as former heroin dealer Nee was fleeing the gunman, and they both barged into her house.

As she desperately tried to keep them out, the hitman shot her and Olivia, and then pumped two bullets into Nee. 

The convicted burglar and drugs gang ‘foot soldier’ was then scooped up by two associates and taken to hospital in a black Audi A3. They left wounded Miss Korbel cradling her dying daughter.

She has now been released from hospital where she was treated for the gunshot wound.

Yesterday in their dramatic appeal issued via Merseyside Police, the defiant family wrote in capital letters: ‘Please do the right thing.’ They said: ‘We as a family are eternally grateful for the help and support we have received from people across the world.

‘We are also thankful to Merseyside Police for the outstanding work and to the staff at Alder Hey and Aintree hospitals.’

Giving an update yesterday, detectives warned Olivia’s killer: ‘We will not rest until we find you – and we will find you.’

They revealed ‘a number of names’ had been supplied to investigating officers as to the identity of the callous hitman.

And they said they had several ‘very positive lines of enquiry’ to lead them to him – but admitted it was unclear whether the gunman had fled overseas.

A major police operation has been underway, with officers from the National Crime Agency and Border Force joining the manhunt.  

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen, head of investigations at Merseyside Police, vowed: ‘We will find him wherever he goes. It doesn’t matter where you go to, we will still find you. We will come for you, we will identify you and we will bring you to justice.’

Nee, who was out on licence when the shooting happened, has been arrested and will be returned to prison once he has recovered. It is understood that he was refusing to help police find the ‘cowardly’ gunman.

Olivia was described by her family as a 'chatty, nosey little girl who broke the mould when she was born'

 Olivia was described by her family as a ‘chatty, nosey little girl who broke the mould when she was born’

Olivia was killed in a horrific shooting in her home in Liverpool. Her two older siblings were also at home at the time

Olivia was killed in a horrific shooting in her home in Liverpool. Her two older siblings were also at home at the time 

Convicted burglar Joseph Nee, 35, has been named as the intended target of the shooting that also left Olivia's mother wounded

Convicted burglar Joseph Nee, 35, has been named as the intended target of the shooting that also left Olivia’s mother wounded 

Addressing the gunman, Mr Kameen said: 'My message to him remains the same - we will not rest until we find you and we will find you'

Addressing the gunman, Mr Kameen said: ‘My message to him remains the same – we will not rest until we find you and we will find you’

Nee, whose family once shared the motto ‘snitches get stitches’ on Facebook, has kept tight-lipped since his arrest, the Daily Mail understands. But the family last night offered their condolences to Olivia’s relatives.

Nee’s mother and a sister arrived at the cordon near the scene of the murder to place flowers.

A note with the bouquet of lilies and roses read: ‘So sorry for your loss of beautiful Olivia. Rest in peace.’ The message, which was signed by the Nees, said they were thinking of Olivia’s family.

A woman in Olivia’s street claimed Nee, who she knew as ‘Joey’, had initially tried to kick open a wooden door leading to a passageway beside one of Olivia’s neighbours’ homes, in a bid to escape from the gunman.

Was killing linked to gang feud over £1m cocaine theft? 

Detectives are examining whether a £1million cocaine robbery two years ago triggered the carnage that cost Olivia Pratt-Korbel her young life.

Merseyside Police said they were examining several theories around her killing, amid speculation it could have been sparked by a mobster feud.

Joseph Nee, pictured, the former heroin dealer Olivia’s killer was trying to shoot, may have been targeted after one gang robbed another of 30kg of cocaine.

The heist in May 2020 took place close to both Olivia and Nee’s homes. Manchester rivals raided cocaine stored by Liverpool gangsters. Richard Caswell and brothers Jason and Craig Cox burst into a house, beat a father and son guarding the stash and stole the drugs worth £1million.

The Manchester gang were jailed, but the Liverpool mob ‘are going after anyone they think was involved’, a source said. Yesterday Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen said police were ‘looking at feuds ongoing and historical’.

 

She said he then stormed into Olivia’s home when her mother opened her front door to see what the commotion was. After the gunman fired shots inside, Nee staggered outside and back toward the first property, she said. 

She claimed Nee was picked up outside a third nearby house by his brother, who lives nearby, and taken to hospital. ‘Joey had no idea what happened to Olivia until later,’ she added. ‘He has sent an apology to the family.’

When approached yesterday, the man believed to be Nee’s brother Stephen said he did not want to say anything or ‘get involved’.

A neighbour said he drove a black Audi hatchback that had not been seen for a few days. Police have not named Nee. Yesterday they confirmed they had seized the Audi A3 used to take him to hospital and had spoken to the two men who took him there.

Mr Kameen said officers would not rest until the gunman was found, adding: ‘I struggle to find the words to describe that individual and what they’ve done.

‘The fact that having found out a child had died, and they will know what they have done, and they still do not have the conscience to come forward and give themselves up. That speaks volumes about the individual we’re dealing with.’

Mr Kameen said detectives were speaking to a man who was with Nee when they were both ambushed by the masked gunman, who is a different person to the pair who later took Nee to hospital.

A neighbour said he often saw Olivia and her mother driving past with music in their car, and saw her the day she died. He added: ‘They just looked like a normal, happy family just going out somewhere in their car.’

It comes amid speculation Olivia’s murder was the result of a ‘tit for tat’ gang feud which saw Nee targeted after one of the groups robbed the other of £1million worth of cocaine. A drugs stash house in Croxdale Road West, close to the house where Olivia lived with her two older siblings, was raided in May 2020 by four men armed with an axe and a baton.

Richard Caswell and Manchester-based brothers Jason and Craig Cox burst into the property and beat a father and son looking after the drugs before taking 30kg of cocaine. Some of the drugs were then sold to Leon Atkinson, a criminal associate of police killer Dale Cregan – it is claimed. The robbery shocked Liverpool’s underworld because the gang who owned the drugs were previously thought of as untouchable. 

A Liverpool underworld source told The Sun: ‘The guys that lost the £1m of drugs are the top of the criminal tree in Liverpool. No one could believe anyone would try and rip them off. The cops managed to crack the case by getting into their encrypted phones and some were jailed in May. 

‘But the Liverpool gang are still furious about it and have been going after anyone they think was involved. The word is that Nee gathered some information for them.’

Last night it emerged that a relative of Nee had a post on their Facebook account showing next to a caption calling police ‘scum’ and adding, ‘Snitches get stitches’. It is not clear when the post was published. 

The officer also said two people have been arrested following the fatal shooting of council worker Ashley Dale in Old Swan, Liverpool, on Sunday

The 28-year-old, who worked in the environmental health team at Knowsley Council, was found fatally wounded in the back garden of a house. It is believed that Ms Dale was not the intended victim

The officer also said two people have been arrested following the fatal shooting of council worker Ashley Dale in Old Swan, Liverpool, on Sunday

Last night a CCTV video emerged showing the sound of four gunshots coming from Olivia's home on the night of her murder

Last night a CCTV video emerged showing the sound of four gunshots coming from Olivia’s home on the night of her murder 

Jason Cox

Craig Cox

It comes amid speculation Olivia’s murder was the result of a ‘tit for tat’ gang feud which saw Nee targeted after one of the groups robbed the other of £1million worth of cocaine. Richard Caswell and Manchester-based brothers Jason (left) and Craig (right) Cox burst into the property and beat a father and son looking after the drugs before taking 30kg of cocaine

Wellwishers raise more than £20,000 for Olivia’s shattered family  

Thousands of pounds have been raised to help Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s grieving family. 

The fundraiser reads: ‘We are raising [money] to help the family with this tragic loss. 

‘We can’t imagine the pain they’re all going through and want to help in any way we can. Let’s give this little angel the send off she deserves.’  

The total amount raised already stands at more than £20,000 – breaking the original target.  

Click HERE to donate. 

Mr Kameen today urged the public to continue sending in information, either through their website or by calling Crimestoppers, in relation to the shooting of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Liverpool.

He said: ‘I am incredibly grateful for the sheer levels and volume of information that we have received so far. This level of engagement, this level of cooperation, and this level of working together simply must continue.’

He added: ‘I’d like to reassure our communities that are working relentlessly on each of these murder investigations.’   

Neighbours have previously said the attack could be connected to a shooting at a children’s playground yards from Olivia’s home two weeks ago, where gunmen riding in a car shot at a man on an electric bike. 

One local claimed: ‘It was the same people involved in the shooting a few weeks ago in Akers Hall park. We know it was. It is two rival gangs chasing after each other.’   

Former Scotland Yard detective Peter Bleksley suggested a gangster serving life in jail was behind the spate of violence that led to Olivia’s killing. 

‘I have been told by a source I consider reliable that much of this violence is being orchestrated by a man who is currently in prison but unfortunately has access to mobile phones and has considerable influence from behind a cell door,’ he told the Mirror. 

‘Sadly, the trail of evidence for this will lead back to the illegal drugs industry. If you have a business dispute in an illegal industry you can’t go to court to have a resolution, you have to revert to violence.’

Meanwhile, former chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, said cracking the case would ‘be down to a lucky piece of information from the public’, adding: ‘Sometimes another criminal gang will see [it] to their advantage, in a way, to pass forward information which might lead to the disruption of another criminal gang.’ 

Last night a man who identified himself as Nee’s brother answered the door at the family home. Asked if he would elaborate on Nee’s injuries, he said: ‘It’s none of your business’, adding that the family would ‘tell the police’ if they had any useful information.

Olivia

Olivia

Olivia’s mother Cheryl was discharged from hospital after receiving medical treatment, and was being supported by police

Olivia (with her mother, Cheryl) was the random victim of a gun battle that saw the shooter barge his way into her family home and open fire with 'complete disregard' for anyone inside

Olivia (with her mother, Cheryl) was the random victim of a gun battle that saw the shooter barge his way into her family home and open fire with ‘complete disregard’ for anyone inside 

Police revealed that the intended victim's friends picked him up in an Audi and took him to hospital - leaving Olivia to die

Olivia

Police revealed that the intended victim’s friends picked him up in an Audi and took him to hospital – leaving Olivia to die

Forensic experts continue to examine the scene of the shooting in Kingsheath Avenue, Liverpool on Wednesday

Forensic experts continue to examine the scene of the shooting in Kingsheath Avenue, Liverpool on Wednesday

 

 Nee, who also lives in Dovecote, was previously part of an organised criminal gang that were sentenced to 10 years in jail in total for a string of burglaries across North West England – and were caught after he led police on an 125mph chase across Cheshire and Merseyside.

Photographs of a topless Nee in HMP Kirkham, taken in 2019 and understood to have been shared on Instagram by an accomplice, show him standing in the sun with a group of men as he bragged about life behind bars in captions which reportedly read ‘butlins with bars’ and ‘costa del kirkham’.

‘Butlins with bars’: How career criminal shot in Olivia horror flaunted his cushy time in jail 

Posing topless in the sunshine, Joseph Nee could almost be at a summer barbecue.

But this photo was actually taken in prison – leading it to be dubbed ‘Butlins with bars’. 

Nee and fellow inmates were caught bragging about their cushy life in photos that were posted on Instagram.

Photographs of a topless Nee (furthest left) in HMP Kirkham, taken in 2019 and understood to have been shared onto Instagram by a drug gang baron, showed him bragging about life behind bars and relaxing alongside fellow prisoners in the warm weather

Basking in the hot weather, the criminals smiled for the pictures at HMP Kirkham in Lancashire. Poking fun at how nice their time inside has been, the pictures were captioned ‘Butlins with bars’ and ‘Costa del Kirkham’.

The 2019 photos were unearthed by the Liverpool Echo newspaper – they are believed to have been shared from an Instagram account associated with one of the men.

Posing alongside convicted burglar Nee was a prisoner who was part of a ‘ruthless’ gang that stabbed and battered an innocent bystander, and snatched £150,000 from cash machines in smash-and-grab raids across Merseyside.

Kirkham is an open prison which houses 650 men in 24 units. Each unit has a phone and a kitchen, and prisoners have access to a gym and snooker and pool tables.

In 2009, Nee was jailed for six-and-a-half years for serving as a ‘trusted foot soldier’ in a drugs gang that help push heroin and crack cocaine onto the streets of Liverpool.

Offenders with shorter sentences are entitled to automatic release at the halfway point of their term and can be recalled if they get into trouble with the police to complete the remainder of their original sentence. 

Amid mounting fury over the killings, Kieran Mullan, Conservative MP for Crewe and Nantwich, told MailOnline last night: ‘The reality is it is a relatively small number of persistent and determined criminals responsible for making the rest of us suffer and, of course, horrendously on this occasion. 

‘If early work to get them to turn away from a life of crime doesn’t work, the longer they spend in jail the better for the rest of us.’ 

Police say Nee saw a ‘chink of light’ as Ms Korbel opened the door after hearing the noise outside.

Two sources are thought to have come forward and given the same name of the masked gunman to Merseyside Police as of this morning. 

Liverpool City Council councillor Barbara Murray, for Yew Tree ward, said that she or any of her colleagues would be willing to pass on any information anonymously.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We are more than happy to liaise and be that person and we can pass on information, but there are other agencies. It doesn’t really matter – go to someone you trust, and tell them what you know. And we will protect you. No one will reveal who you are.’

Neighbours have now suggested that the attack may have been connected to a shooting at a children’s playground just yards from Olivia’s home on August 8 – just two weeks ago – where gunmen riding a dark-coloured car shot at a man on an electric bike. Nobody has been arrested for the incident.

One local said: ‘They were just innocent people – that’s what makes it 10 times worse. They were quiet, respectable people. Knowing someone has been shot just because she opened the door. It’s not right. It was the same people involved in the shooting a few weeks ago in Akers Hall park. We know it was. It is two rival gangs chasing after each other.’

A woman in her 50s told The Telegraph: ‘It was the same people involved in the shooting the other week, the same car involved. It is just tit for tat. Pointless.’

Olivia’s death is the third fatal shooting in Liverpool in less than a week, and it comes after a council worker was killed 48 hours ago. Chillingly, Olivia was killed 15 years to the day after 11-year-old Rhys Jones was shot dead in Croxteth. 

Tributes have now flooded in for Olivia, who attended St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School. A card with messages written in children’s handwriting was left with a bunch of flowers at the scene of the killing. One message read: ‘I will miss you.’ 

Olivia was the tragic victim of suspected gang land shooting in Liverpool after she was left for dead after being gunned down in her own home

Olivia was the tragic victim of suspected gang land shooting in Liverpool after she was left for dead after being gunned down in her own home

Two wellwishers are pictured with a heart balloon as they pay their respects to the tragic schoolgirl on Wednesday

Two wellwishers are pictured with a heart balloon as they pay their respects to the tragic schoolgirl on Wednesday

Children are seen sitting in the road on Kingsheath Avenue in front of forensics officers

Children are seen sitting in the road on Kingsheath Avenue in front of forensics officers



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