Mother’s horror as son, 11, shot in head with airgun while getting his football back

New-build estate on Roadtrain Avenue in Leyland, Lancashire (Google Maps)
New-build estate on Roadtrain Avenue in Leyland, Lancashire (Google Maps)

The mother of an 11-year-old boy shot in the head after climbing a fence to look for a ball spoke of her shock.

Doctors told the distraught woman a metal pellet fired from an air weapon missed his brain by millimetres.

The youngster was playing football with friends in the back garden of a house on a new-build estate in Leyland, Lancashire and was targeted as he tried to retrieve the ball on Monday.

He suffered a hole the size of a five pence piece in his fractured skull and is recovering from surgery at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool.

Police are appealing for information about the incident, which happened in Roadtrain Avenue at about 7.20pm.

A spokesman said: “Following a number of inquiries we have now identified someone of interest to our investigation and we will be speaking to them in due course. That person is another juvenile.”

The boy’s mother, who asked not to be identified, said she first discovered what had happened when he appeared with a tea towel on his head.

She told MailOnline: “All the other kids were shouting he had been shot.

“I was in shock. One minute he was playing football and the next he is collapsed on the floor.

“He spend three nights at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool and he’s been left with a hole to size of a 5p coin.

“It narrowly missed his brain so he has been lucky. He’s a tough lad.”

Another local woman said: “It is really scary.

“Who could do such a thing to a young lad who was only playing football?

“Ever since it happened the streets around here have been a lot quieter because you can tell people are frightened what might happen until someone is caught.”

Detective Constable Paul Brown, of Lancashire Police, said: “I’m grateful to those who have come forward with information so far.

“We have now identified someone, and we will be speaking to that individual in due course.

“We are confident there is no wider risk to anyone in the community.

“Thankfully, the victim’s injuries are not serious, and he is making a good recovery.”

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting log 1410 of May 20, or alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously and in confidence on 0800 555 111.