LIVERPOOL: British police today said they had arrested a 36-year-old man for shooting dead a nine-year-old girl in the crossfire of a suspected gang war.
The young girl’s death — the third fatal shooting in the city in a week — has led to calls for greater action to tackle gun crime.
Olivia Pratt-Korbel was killed on Monday night when the shooter’s intended target burst into her home in Liverpool to try to escape his attacker.
Merseyside Police, which appealed to the criminal underworld to give up the gunman, said the arrested man was detained on suspicion of murder.
He was also held on two counts of attempted murder. Olivia’s mother, Cheryl, was shot in the wrist as she tried to stop the intended target bursting in.
“The arrest came after an operation involving armed officers in the Merseyside area last night,” the force said in a statement.
Olivia was standing behind her mother and was hit in the chest as she tried in vain to close the front door, after hearing shots in the street outside.
The intended target — a local convicted burglar –was taken to hospital for treatment for gunshot wounds by friends as the young girl lay dying.
He was arrested on Tuesday for breaching the terms of his early release from a prison sentence.
Locals in the Dovecot area of Liverpool have blamed rival gangs for the shooting.