The intended target of the shooting which killed nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel shouted “please don’t” as his friend ran “for his life” away from the gunman, a court has heard.
Thomas Cashman, 34, is accused of carrying out the attack in Dovecot, Liverpool, which killed Olivia and injured her mother Cheryl Korbel, 46, and Joseph Nee, 36, who is believed to have been the intended target.
On Thursday, Cashman’s trial at Manchester Crown Court was shown a police interview with Paul Abraham, who was with Nee when the gunman fired shots on Kingsheath Avenue at about 10pm on August 22 last year.
Mr Abraham, 41, said he and Nee had left a friend’s house that evening when he heard loud bangs.
“He fell over. I don’t even know when he got shot, he just fell.
“As he rolled over I just basically jumped over him and went through a gate.”
Mr Abraham said he saw Nee continue running up the street, and the attacker, with two hands on what he thought was a gun, walking up the road.
He said: “As I was going up the entry he (Nee) was saying ‘please don’t’, I heard him shouting ‘please, don’t’.”
Mr Abraham said he thought he heard two further bangs as he jumped over fences of back gardens to get away.
He said: “I was just running for my life basically.”
When Mr Abraham was initially asked whose house they had been at earlier that evening, he did not tell police.
The court heard Nee and Mr Abraham had been watching a football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at the house of friend Timothy Naylor on Finch Lane.
In a statement, Mr Naylor said: “I had no idea Joey was at risk, if I had thought Joey was under threat or his life was at risk I’d never ever have him near my house.”
He said he heard bangs and a male screaming shortly after Nee and Mr Abraham left the house.
Mr Naylor said: “I rang Paul after hearing the bangs.
“Paul was hysterical, sobbing on the phone and he couldn’t get his words out.
“I knew something bad must have happened to him or Joey.”
Mr Naylor said he had known Nee since they were children and they had been playing golf and socialising together “since he got out of jail last time”.
The jury has been told that after Nee was shot he ran towards the Korbel family home and was chased by his attacker, who fired through the front door, with the bullet hitting Ms Korbel in the hand and fatally wounding Olivia in the chest.
Cashman, of Grenadier Drive, Liverpool, denies the murder of Olivia, the attempted murder of Joseph Nee, wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm to Olivia’s mother, and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.