Father of boy, 12, shot in Norwich air gun attack speaks out

The father of a 12-year-old schoolboy who spent the weekend in hospital after he was shot by an air gun fired from a Norwich park has called on the public to help police catch the shooter.

The boy spent Saturday night in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital after the pellet, which was shot at him from woods at the back of Eaton Park, lodged in his elbow.

And police are investigating whether the shooting is linked to two other incidents in Bluebell Road, where the windows of two vehicles were smashed by unknown objects.

Police received a call at about 1.10pm on Saturday from the father of a 12-year-old boy who had been hit in the arm by an airgun pellet.

The boy's father, who spoke to the Evening News but asked to remain anonymous, said: 'He was on his bike cycling home from playing football when he was shot at three times while in Bluebell Road. The first shot missed, but the second one hit him in the arm and they fired again after that.

'I was out shopping when my ex called me and told me my son had been shot. I couldn't believe it. He went up to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and had to spend the night there. The pellet was lodged in his arm and they took it out yesterday morning.

'There's not going to be any lasting damage, but he's very distressed. He's questioning 'why me'?

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'Thankfully it didn't hit him in the eye or the face, but if they're not caught who knows what might happen next time.

'They clearly don't have much remorse, given that they shot at him again after they had hit him already.'

The boy's father appealed for the public's help in catching whoever is responsible and said: 'They need to be caught.

'It's worrying because Eaton Park is a lovely area and lots of people take their children there. We don't need idiots messing about with air guns in there.'

Police are trying to establish if the attack on the boy is linked to attacks on a bus and a van in Bluebell Road, one of which left a van driver needing treatment after he was showered with glass.

The driver of the white van had to be treated by paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service after they were called just before 12.40pm.

An unknown object also smashed the window of a bus which was travelling down Bluebell Road, although nobody was hurt.

Ambulance service spokesman Gary Sanderson said: 'It is unsure what was thrown at the vehicles and a man received a minor facial injury. Following treatment by paramedics, he did not need to go to hospital.

'This is a very dangerous and despicable act and someone could have easily been seriously injured.'

A police spokesman appealed for help in catching the culprit, but stressed these were 'isolated incidents' and said they were following lines of enquiry.

He added: 'Police will make every effort to ensure that those carrying air rifles without good reason in a public place will be arrested and prosecuted.

'We would urge members of the public to use air weapons safely, responsibly and in a controlled environment and of course in accordance with the law. They should not be used or left in public view.'

Anyone who saw the attacks, or who witnessed any suspicious behaviour in or around Bluebell Road on Saturday should call Bethel Street CID on 0845 4564567 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

• Were you affected by the attacks? Call Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk