Boy, 11, shot in head after climbing garden fence to retrieve football

A schoolboy has been shot in the head by a suspected air weapon
A schoolboy has been shot in the head by a suspected air weapon - Steve Allen/Steve Allen

A schoolboy has been shot in the head after climbing a garden fence to retrieve a football.

The 11-year-old suffered a fractured skull after being hit by a pellet fired from what is believed to be an air weapon.

Police said it was sheer luck that he did not suffer more significant injuries or was even killed.

The boy was playing football with friends in the back garden of a house on Roadtrain Avenue in Leyland, Lancs, on Monday evening when the ball went over a fence.

As he climbed the fence to look over, he was struck by the pellet.

He was taken to Alder Hey Hospital, in Liverpool, for surgery and is now recovering.

The incident happened around 7.20pm and Lancashire Police have launched an investigation to find the person responsible.


Roadtrain Avenue is part of a newly built residential development on the edge of Leyland, close to open countryside and popular with young families.

One mother of two who lives close to where the shooting took place, told The Telegraph: “It’s really frightening. I’ve got kids, a boy and a girl, and it’s appalling to think someone is taking shots at a child who was just climbing a fence to get their ball back.

“None of the families round here are happy about this at all.”

Det Con Paul Brown, of South CID, said: “This incident has left a young boy with some really significant injuries, and it is fortunate he was not more seriously hurt or even killed.

“We are carrying out a number of enquiries to try and identify the person or persons responsible and I would appeal to anyone who saw what happened, has any dashcam or Ring doorbell footage, or who has any information which could assist our investigation to get in touch.

“I’m sure someone in the local community knows who is responsible for what’s happened to this young boy and I would urge them to come and speak to us.”

People can call 101 quoting log 1410 of May 20th or alternatively they can contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously and in confidence on 0800 555 111.