Boy retrieving football shot with air rifle

20 May 2019, 12:56 | Updated: 20 May 2019, 12:58

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Police are searching for a man after a 12-year-old boy was shot with an air rifle in Bolton.

Shortly before 3.50pm on Saturday 18 May 2019 police were called to Bridge Street in Bolton to reports that the air ambulance had been called out to reports that a 12-year-old boy had been shot in the knee with an air rifle.

The boy was taken to hospital where he will require surgery for his injuries.

Eye witnesses reported that the boy was playing football when his ball ended up on a flat roof nearby. As he went to retrieve the ball he was shot at a number of times before he was hit.

Police have launched an investigation and are currently trawling CCTV from the area.

Police are particularly keen to hear any information about a man who was seen in the area who is described as being white, of average build with glasses and with a grey beard and black hair tied back in a ponytail.

Detective Inspector Andrew Fallows from GMP’s Bolton borough said: “This was an appalling assault on a young boy who was just playing football in the street.

“How someone could comprehend shooting at a child is beyond me, this is any parent’s worst nightmare when sending their kids out to play.

“Thankfully his injuries aren’t life threatening, but he will require surgery and his recovery is not going to be short.

“We are determined to find whoever decided using an air gun was appropriate action to take on a boy retrieving his football.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 5757, alternatively call 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.