The heartbroken family, community and friends of Olivia Pratt-Korbel have shared memories of the playful Liverpool schoolgirl as they described her as “one in a million” and “a little ray of sunshine” with a “heart of gold”.
Her family on Wednesday evening released three photographs of the nine-year-old, while relatives also shared images and videos of her smiling and playing.
Olivia was killed by a masked attacker who had chased convicted burglar Joseph Nee, 35, into her terraced home in Kingsheath Avenue, in the Dovecot area of the city, on Monday night.
Her mother Cheryl Korbel, 46, was shot in the wrist as she tried to close the door on the gunman, who fired indiscriminately into the house.
Olivia was fatally shot by the same bullet as she stood behind her.
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Teddies and flowers with written tributes have since been left near the youngster’s home, with one reading: “A precious little angel taken too soon. God bless. Sleep tight Olivia.”
More than £18,000 has also been raised to help her grieving family.
The GoFundMe page reads: “We are raising 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.”
Olivia’s cousin Luke Korbel described her as “one in a million” and “the most funniest and politest” girl who “always had a smile on her face”.
He also shared online photographs and videos of Olivia, including one of her opening a Christmas present and exclaiming: “Guess what I got?”
In another clip, he got her to say phrases at the camera including “our kid”, “cheese” and “vote Labour”.
In a later social media post he wrote: “I’m stuck in a dream… heartbreaking isn’t the word for it.”
“Hearing everyone’s stories that they had with you, seeing pictures on near every post or notification, it just doesn’t feel real,” he continued.
He added that he hoped Olivia was “riding your bike high up there just like you would of always been doing”.
“I love you cuz. We won’t stop fighting ever, forever our little angel.”
Olivia went to St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School in Huyton, where she was thought of as a kind-hearted, helpful and happy little girl.
‘Olivia was a little ray of sunshine’
“Olivia was a little ray of sunshine,” headteacher Rebecca Wilson told Sky News.
“She was bubbly. She had a little heart of gold. Nothing was too much trouble for her.
“She loved to help the teachers – she was the life and soul of the class.”
She described hearing of Olivia’s death as “an incredibly difficult day” which she said has left staff and pupils in “shock” and “absolutely devastated”.
“Olivia was a much loved member of our school. She had a beautiful smile, a lovely sense of humour, and a bubbly personality,” she added in a statement.
“She was kind-hearted and would go out of her way to help others.
“She loved to perform and recently participated in the school production of The Wizard Of Oz.”
‘Four weeks ago, Olivia was in my son’s school play’
Skylar Conway, who described herself as Olivia’s best friend, also recalled her love of performing and said the girls used to play “truth or dare”.
“I’d give her a granny wig, and a top and jacket to put on, with a granny stick,” she told Sky News.
“She used to love playtimes.”
Skylar added: “She was quite small and she was funny… that’s how I remember her.”