A British man is set to appear in court Monday charged with shooting dead a nine-year-old girl in her own home, an attack that shocked the country and which local residents blamed on rival gangs.
Thomas Cashman, 34, of West Derby in suburban Liverpool, is charged with the murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbell on August 22, a police statement said.
He is also charged with the attempted murder of Cheryl Korbel, 46, the child’s mother, and Joseph Nee, a burglar.
Detectives have said Olivia was standing behind her mother, who had opened the door of their home after hearing gunshots in the street outside. She tried to close the door when the shooter’s intended victim forced his way in pursued by his attacker, who then opened fire at the man.
The mother was hit in the wrist and Olivia in the chest. As the girl lay dying, friends picked up the intended target—a local convicted burglar—and took him to hospital for treatment to gunshot wounds to his upper body.
It was the third fatal shooting in the surrounding area in a week and led to calls for stronger action against firearms and organised crime.
Another suspect, Paul Russell, 40, is accused of being Cashman’s accomplice. Both are to appear before a court in Liverpool on Monday.
Police say they are continuing their investigation, including to find out who provided the weapon used in the killing.