Police exonerate two men arrested over the death of a girl in Liverpool

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Police have released on bail two men arrested on suspicion of murdering nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel, who was shot dead at her home in Liverpool.

A 36-year-old man from Huyton was arrested on Friday and a 33-year-old man from Dovecot on Thursday in an operation involving armed officers.

The 36-year-old man has since been recalled to prison after violating the terms of his license.

Police investigating the death of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel said “silence is not an option” and urged people to share their recent call for information, adding that they are committed to ensuring that there is “no Hiding for anyone” gives involved”.

Olivia Pratt-Korbel was shot dead on Monday night after a gunman chased his intended target, who was said to be convicted burglar Joseph Nee, into the family home in Dovecot, Liverpool, also injuring her mother Cheryl, 46.

On Saturday, Merseyside Police reiterated their appeal for people to come forward by name, tweeting: “One simple request – share this far and wide with everyone you know and ask them to keep sharing, so that there is no hiding place for anyone involved in the murder of little Olivia. we need names Silence is not an option.”

Olivia’s family have urged people to “do the right thing”, saying: “If anyone knows anything, now is the time to speak up. It’s not about being a ‘snitch’ or ‘weed’, it’s about finding out who took our baby away from us.”

Merseyside Police have released thermal camera footage of the moment the 36-year-old man was arrested and shows officers leading him away.

Neighbors who witnessed the arrest reported seeing armed police “all in black, with balaclavas and machine guns” descending on a block of flats.

Police have also released an image of a black Audi Q3 that they have seized, and detectives have solicited information from witnesses who saw it in the days leading up to the shooting or have information about its movements afterward.

Liverpool Deputy Mayor Harry Doyle said people have come forward with information because they “want to see justice” for Olivia and her loved ones.

He told BBC Breakfast: “Our community is obviously still extremely shocked by what has happened. There is certainly a sense of hope and relief at the announcements of the two arrests made so far. But the community really pulled together this week.”

Olivia’s death – the third deadly shooting in Liverpool in just a few days – has reignited a wider debate about gun crime and issues such as the impact of cuts in the city.

Doyle, who is also a councilor for the Knotty Ash area alongside Dovecot, said a half-million pound support package announced by the Home Office “does not touch the sides”.

“We’ve seen budgets decimated over the years, but so have youth scholarship budgets. What our community needs are long-term solutions and funding solutions for the children here on the street who were Olivia’s friends,” he said.

Olivia’s family paid tribute to her, describing her as “a unique, talkative, inquisitive little girl who broke the norm at birth”.

They added, “While her life was short, her personality certainly wasn’t and she lived it to the best of her ability and would blow people away with her wit and kindness.”

The shooter had been chasing Nee at Olivia’s family home in Dovecot after her mother opened her front door in response to a commotion outside. The men – complete strangers to the family – burst in and Olivia was fatally shot.

In another incident last weekend, Ashley Dale, 28, was shot dead in the back garden of her home in Liverpool in what police say was a case of mistaken identity.

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