Young Boy Shot in Head Fetching Soccer Ball

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An 11-year-old boy in Leyland, Lancashire, England was shot in the head while retrieving a soccer ball on the evening of May 20, 2024. When the incident occurred, the boy was playing with friends in a backyard on Roadtrain Avenue.

According to Lancashire Police, the boy climbed over a fence to retrieve the ball that had gone over. As he did, he was struck in the head by a metal pellet believed to have been fired from an air weapon. The impact caused a fractured skull, necessitating surgery at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool. The boy is now recovering.

A neighbor who heard the commotion recalled the immediate aftermath. “I heard the boy’s mother went to a friend’s house for help, and the friend called 999. The friend mentioned the boy was shot in the head with a BB gun,” she explained. “I don’t understand why this happened. It makes you question the safety of children playing outside.”

Detective Inspector Paul Mulrooney of the South Criminal Investigation Department expressed gratitude to those who provided information. “We have identified a juvenile as a person of interest in our investigation and will be speaking to them soon,” he said. He assured the community that there was no broader threat, adding, “Fortunately, the victim’s injuries are not severe, and he is recovering well.”

Detective Constable Paul Brown also commented on the danger in the incident. “This incident has left a young boy with some significant injuries, and, fortunately, he was not more seriously hurt or even killed,” he said.

The boy’s mother discovered him with a tea towel on his head and initially thought he had been hit by a BB gun. Doctors later confirmed it was a metal pellet from an air weapon, leaving a hole the size of a dime in his skull.”I was in shock. One minute he was playing soccer, and the next he is collapsed on the floor,” she said.

The boy spent three nights at Alder Hey Hospital. Despite the gravity of his injuries, the shot narrowly missed his brain. The community remains vigilant, hoping for a swift resolution to the investigation. The police have urged anyone with further information to come forward to aid in their inquiries.

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