Boy, 13, nearly loses eye after being shot by BB gun in school playground - 25 Jun 2008 - NZ Herald: New Zealand National news

Boy, 13, nearly loses eye after being shot by BB gun in school playground
5:00AM Wednesday June 25, 2008
By Elizabeth Binning and Alanah May Eriksen

Two students are being dealt with by police and others are being warned they will face disciplinary action following a spate of BB gun incidents at a South Auckland high school.

Papakura High School staff have been dealing with a spate of playground incidents the most serious of which occurred on Friday when a 13-year-old boy was shot twice, once just under his eye. The student, who did not want to be named, was shot at while on a morning tea break and suffered a welt on his chin and one under his eye.

"A couple of millimetres higher, it would have taken his eye out," his mother told the Herald.

The offending student was apparently walking around the school shooting "randomly" at other students.

The school, in its newsletter, has warned parents and students not to bring imitation guns to school saying the toys were a "dangerous lookalike for more authentic weapons".

"These items are strictly forbidden at school and we ask that you assist us with this by checking your son or daughter is not in possession of one or more of these dangerous toys. Students have been reminded of the school rules and regulation relating to offensive weapons and the possible consequences."

At an assembly on Monday, the message was further reiterated with students being told they would be instantly stood down and their parents contacted if they bought a BB gun to school.

School principal Angela Appleby told the Herald there had been at least seven incidents involving the BB guns in the past week, although most were just were simply cases of students bring the air pistols to school - not firing them.

"I think given what's happened in the wider Counties Manukau district in the last few weeks that it's been pretty freaky for some of my staff and kids to see plastic guns brought out."

Mrs Appleby said she believed the spate was due to the easy availability of the toy guns - which sold in local stores for just a few dollars - and she appealed to retailers to be more responsible in what they sold.

"Please think about what you are selling ... I know that they are toys but given what's happening in the wider community I have said to the kids they are dangerous in as much as what they fire, the plastic pellets, but also they are such good lookalikes that they could be treated as such and they could end up being hurt."

The boy's mother said she was also annoyed at retailers for selling the guns.

"There's so many retailers being burgled or killed or robbed and here's other retailers selling guns to children. It's been a bad time in South Auckland at the moment, you'd think they'd be more inclined not to sell things like that."

Police spokeswoman Denise Traill said it was not illegal for stores to sell them. Police Youth Aid were, however, dealing with two students over the schoolyard matter.

Mrs Appleby said other cases were being dealt with as a "disciplinary matter," with the seriousness of the consequences depending on the student's actions.

Global TV | Winnipeg | Story

Pellet gun attack injures boy
11 year old shot in face
Winnipeg Free Press
Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2008

An 11-year-old boy is considered lucky after he was shot in the face by a pellet gun Monday afternoon and escaped serious injury.

Hank Vande Kraats, principal of Calvin Christian Elementary school in North Kildonan, said the boy was one of two children shot while they were out on a walk with their teacher and classmates to the neighbourhood 7-Eleven store.

Vande Kraats said the boy is at home, in good condition but the pellet remains lodged in the boy's face and will be removed when surgery can be scheduled.

"It's very disturbing," Vande Kraats said tonight. "Someone deliberately aimed at our students, was hiding from view. We really hope the police find this individual."

A 12-year old girl was hit but she didn't require treatment.

"I heard a sound like a twig snapped and then my arm was stinging," Camille Wall, 12, said. "I thought I got hit by a rock."

Vande Kraats said the students were with their Grade 6 class and teacher, on a short walk from their school on Sutton Avenue to the neighbourhood 7-Eleven on Henderson Highway for a treat of Slurpees at about 1 p.m.

Wall said she was wearing a long-sleeved sweater and didn't think anything about the incident but on the way back to class, the boy was hit.

"He was bleeding a lot and they had to take him to hospital,"

Wall's mother, Michelle Wall, said it appears the pellets were fired from behind the 7-Eleven store. Police interviewed school officials and the children, and later canvassed the area, she said, but weren't able to get a lead on who fired the shots.

Camille said after her friend was shot she took off her sweater and saw that she too had been shot by a pellet. Her skin was broken and lightly bleeding. She was treated with ice.

"I was a little scared when it happened but not anymore," Camille said, adding she plans to return to school Tuesday.

Vande Kraats said the boy was taken to hospital, where doctors said he was in no immediate danger and that surgery to remove the pellet will be set for a later time. The boy was released and is home tonight and in good spirits, he said, but added he remains concerned about the incident.