Police in Middlesbrough are investigating after three people were hit with pellets, suspected to be from an air gun or pistol - including a 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head.
All three separate incidents happened on Trimdon Avenue in the town last night, Tuesday 16, February near to the Bluebell Medical Centre.
It was reported that a group of males and females, believed to be around 15-years-of-age, were gathered near to the medical centre around the time of the incidents.
The first happened around 8:45pm, as a 56-year-old man cycled past the medical centre and was hit on the shoulder with a pellet, leaving him with soreness.A 28-year-old woman reported being hit with another pellet on the back around 9pm, as she ran past the medical centre.Around 9:15pm, a 15-year-old girl was shot in the back of the head with a pellet, which had to be removed at James Cook University Hospital.
Detective Inspector Matt Hollingsworth, from Middlesbrough CID, said: “We will not tolerate incidents like this, and have made steps this morning to try to identify those involved...
It is very fortunate that someone was not more seriously injured. A 15-year-old girl was taken to hospital and had a pellet removed which was lodged in her head. She has been very lucky. If that pellet had hit her in the eye or soft tissue areas there could have been catastrophic injuries.
DI Matt Hollingsworth added: “I would urge members of the public who may have information about the person responsible to come forward and tell us who it is. You don’t need to give us your name, it can be anonymous.“I would also appeal to parents whose children were out last night, please find out where they were and contact us if they have information. If your child was out and may have access to an air weapon, we would also urge you to get in touch.”Officers are implementing a dispersal order in the area around Trimdon Avenue shops this evening, which will run until Friday night and can be extended if needed.
There will be a high visibility presence in the area around Trimdon Avenue tonight and in the coming days. Those found to be gathering will be dispersed and anyone who breaches the order can be arrested.