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Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s heartbroken dad has paid an emotional tribute to his gunned down daughter for the first time since her horrific murder.
Speaking publicly John Francis Pratt paid tribute to a "real bright spark" whose life was "snatched away".
John and his wider family issued a statement via Merseyside Police on Tuesday (September 6), begging for anyone with information about the killing of his nine-year-old daughter to come forward, the Liverpool Echo reports.
READ MORE:Twins, 8, were 'thrown out of upstairs window' after being stabbed to death
On August 22 a gunman forced his way into Olivia's mum's home on Kingsheath Avenue, Dovecot, Liverpool, while chasing 35-year-old Joseph Nee, and opened fire.
Olivia was standing behind her mum, Cheryl Korbel, when a bullet passed through her mum's wrist and struck the St Margaret Mary's Primary School pupil in the chest causing devastating injuries.
The gunman continued to shoot at Nee, wounding him in the leg and torso, before fleeing the scene towards Finch Lane.
Mr Pratt said today: "Words can’t express the pain we are going through after Olivia was so cruelly snatched away from us."
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"Those responsible need to know what they have done," he said.
“Olivia was a real bright spark who knew her own mind, had no problem making friends (she would talk to anyone) and loved to laugh and make people laugh.
"She could be a proper wind up merchant and loved to wind her nieces up, particularly those who were older than her and when they didn’t like it she’d just laugh and say ‘don’t forget I’m your aunty’.
He added: “Olivia’s future has been cruelly snatched away from her and we have been deprived of a real light in our lives.
"We know that there has been an exceptional response to police appeals and we would like to thank those who have come forward.
"At the same time we want to urge others who may have evidence to keep coming forward with information which could help put those responsible for our Olivia’s murder behind bars.
“We have been really taken aback by the kindness and support we have received from family, friends and neighbours in the last two weeks and we would like to thank them for being there for us. We know that most people on Merseyside are good-hearted and kind just like them and we all need to stand together."
On Sunday four men were arrested in connection with Olivia's death and remain in custody after police received a 36 hour extension to question the suspects.
Anyone with information on the tragedy is asked to DM @MerPolCC or contact @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111.
If you have any CCTV/dashcam/smart doorbell footage that could help police inquiries they can be downloaded on the dedicated public portal for Olivia's murder, which will go straight through to the investigation team. Footage can be submitted here Public Portal ( mipp.police.uk ).
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