The mother of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel said her “sassy little princess” has touched the community, a year on from the shooting.
Olivia died on August 22 last year after she was shot by Thomas Cashman, who chased convicted drug dealer Joseph Nee into her family home in Dovecot, Liverpool.
A year on from the shooting, her mother Cheryl Korbel, 47, who was hit in the wrist by the bullet which killed her daughter, said she wanted Olivia to be remembered as a “sassy little princess”, who was “cheeky” and “loved life”.
She said: “She loved dancing.”
Ms Korbel’s cousin, Antonia Elverson, added: “She packed so much in to them little nine years and whether she was only borrowed to us for nine years, we had the most amazing nine years and that’s something that we will live with and we’ll carry her through with us.”
Ms Korbel said Olivia had left an impact on the community and was remembered with a garden in Court Hey Park, Knowsley, which features a butterfly mosaic and will be used by schoolchildren for workshops.
She said: “It’s lovely. The kids can’t wait to come down in September and to start doing the workshops at the garden.
“Even when I go to the school, I still see the mums and dads and it’s lovely to still have that connection with the school and the mums and dads and the kids.
“They’ve all been touched by Liv, one way or another.”
She said the past year had been hard but, with the support of family and friends, she had been able to get through it.
Asked how she felt a year on, the mother-of-three said: “Like it was yesterday, blinked and the last 12 months have just flew by. Numb.”
She said she planned to “constantly mention” Olivia’s name on the first anniversary of her murder.
Olivia’s death was one of three fatal shootings within a week in Liverpool last August, with council worker Ashley Dale, 28, killed on August 21 and 22-year-old Sam Rimmer fatally injured on August 16.
Ms Elverson said gun crime at the time had been “out of control”.
She said: “There’s no words to describe that.
“Sam and Ashley – we remember listening to that on the news and we were absolutely heartbroken for their families.
“No one would have said to us that literally 24 hours after Ashley, we would be living that nightmare.
“It hasn’t just rocked the community. It hasn’t just rocked the city, it’s rocked the country, it’s rocked the nation. Gun crime has to stop. Knife crime has to stop.”
She added: “This pain is never going to go away for us. Like Cheryl said at the end of the trial, our life sentence has just began.
“Don’t let another family have to go through that life sentence too.”
Cashman, 34, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 42 years earlier this year for Olivia’s murder.