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Olivia Pratt-Korbel shooting.JPG
Olivia Pratt-Korbel shooting.JPG
UK News

Liverpool pastor asks for prayers for peace and justice amid further arrests over death of 9 year old

by Sophie Drew

 Following three fatal shootings in seven days, a pastor in Liverpool is urging Christians to pray for peace and justice. 

Over the last 12 months, the city has seen a pause in people losing their lives to gun violence - until last week. 

The death of 9-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was the third death involving a gun to rock the city this month. 

Sam Rimmer, aged 20, was shot in a cul-de-sac in Dingle on the 16th August 2022. 

On the 21st August 2022, 28-year-old Ashley Dale was shot in a garden in Old Swan - it's believed to be a case of mistaken identity. 

Pastor Luke Bryant, who leads Liverpool One Church on the edge of Everton, told Premier how the events of recent days have shaken their community. 

He said: "When the first incident happened with 22-year-old Sam Rimmer, that just came out like a lightning bolt in many respects. 

"I think that that was a huge shock... shocked, hurt, surprised and then I think that that just seemed to snowball into what it's become now,  because we then experienced the loss of Ashley Dale, again, a 28-year-old.

"The fact that she was the half-sister of Lewis Dunne; he was killed as a result of mistaken identity, of which three people were later convicted, but still just an absolutely heartbreaking story, and then, obviously, with nine year old Olivia, it's absolutely devastating.

"It's horrific to even think that that can actually happen in our city. 

"The fact is, it will be in the 15th year anniversary of Rhys Jones - the 11-year-old from Croxteth, who was shot in 2007, on his way home from football training. 

"It's heartbreaking and people are devastated, yet determined, because they're adamant that we've got to move forward but with a sentiment of 'enough is enough, something's got to change.'

"It's just heartbreaking on a whole."

Pastor Luke and his church are doubling-down in their prayers for the city, asking God for two things in particular. 

"Firstly, we're praying for the families of all of those involved," he continued. 

"I mean, the reality is that everybody was under the age of 30. 

"Let's not even get into little Olivia. She was nine years of age.

"We're praying for the families and the friends of all of those involved because at those ages, everybody's got a mum and dad, everybody's got a granddad or grandma. 

"So, we are praying for the wider families, and that sense of peace that surpasses all understanding that Paul writes about in Philippians 4 would even be known by them in what is an unbelievably traumatic time.

"I think the moving on from that though, is we're really praying that justice is going to be done. 

"When shootings like this happen that result is murder, Liverpool is not too dissimilar to any other city, which it's communities often go very closed shop. 

"There is a deep-rooted sense of loyalty that families and friends of offenders have towards one another and that can oftentimes result in them withholding information and not being forthcoming with any vital information to the authorities in order to help the police with any kind of prosecution. 

"So we're really praying that actually people will end up doing the right thing, that justice would be done.

"That not only arrests would be made -  and it is fantastic that we've seen a number of arrests made even in the last 24 hours -  but that justice would be done that people would end up being charged and prosecuted and serving time for what these horrific traumatic murderers have done to the friends and the families and the local communities of Liverpool."

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