A mum has told of the horrifying moment her seven-year-old daughter was shot in the face with a BB gun at a Lancashire market.
Lillie-Mai is now too scared to leave the house after being hit with a BB gun pellet that was allegedly fired by a group of youths.
Joanne Davies and her daughter were visiting Accrington market for a craft event with Lillie-Mai’s godmother and her daughter, Lancs Live reports.
Mum Joanne, from Whitworth, said: “Lillie-Mai and her godmother had gone to the toilet, and next thing I heard was a lot of shouting and I recognized the voice of my friend.
“Next minute my daughter appears at the table, holding her face, crying, sobbing her heart out and she’s going, ‘mummy I’ve been shot in the face, I’ve been shot in the face.
“You can imagine what I thought.”
In an attempt to console her daughter, Joanne inspected Lillie-Mai’s face only to discover it was red and inflamed.
Joanne’s friend said she spotted a group of youths hanging around the balcony area – at least one of them was holding a BB gun.
The pellet narrowly missed Lillie-Mai’s eyes by an inch – if it hit her eye she could have lost it.
“What weighs’ on my mind heavily, and I’ve to got to be thankful it wasn’t, but an inch higher, she’d have lost her eye – it was a metal ball bearing,” Joanne added.
“Coming home, Lillie-Mai did appear alright and went to bed Saturday night, she had only been in bed about an hour and she woke up screaming, she was shaking, she started vomiting,” Joanne said.
“On Sunday, we normally go out on as a family – she wouldn’t come, she point blank refused to leave the house, said she was frightened to leave the house.
“We just about got her to school on Monday but it was a battle – it has significantly affected her.”
Officers are now investigating the incident.
Joanne has issued a warning to the parents of the youths and wants them to be aware of the “great trauma” they’ve inflicted on her daughter.
“For one, I hope they tell their children the severity of it- I don’t blame the parents, I’m a mother of teenagers myself and you don’t always know where they are,” Joanne said.
“But if the parents of the children who have done this are reading this, I want their children to know how close my daughter was to losing her eye and the fact that they have caused a seven year old great trauma.
“Not only that, but my friend who was with her too, her godmother, she was with her down the stairs too, she’s witnessed it and she’s absolutely distraught and feels guilty that it happened when she was with even though it wasn’t her fault.
“This has had an impact on us all really- she’s getting better.
“I don’t know how she’s going to be if I suggest in three weeks time to go to the craft session in Accrington, I don’t if that’s going to be something she doesn’t want to do which will be a shame because we’ve done it since they’ve started it.
“Children have to look at the bigger picture.”
PCSO Frost, of Hyndburn Police, has issued a warning to parents about the danger of BB guns.
“Following an incident at the weekend where by a young child has been shot with a BB Gun, today officers have seized the BB Gun and pellets believed to be linked to the incident,” the officer said.
“Officers were called to Accrington Market Hall on Saturday 5th February 2022 at around 15:00 hours following a report of a group of youths with BB Guns running around the Market Hall.
“Unfortunately, a 7-year-old child was hit by one of the pellets.
“The youths have been identified and will be dealt with accordingly.
“The youths involved have also made us aware of where they are purchasing the BB Guns from, these shops will be visited and passed onto Trading Standards.
“People could be seriously injured as a result of being shot with a BB Gun and we urge you to educate your children on the dangers of carrying one. This sort of behavior will not be tolerated.
“Thank you for your continued support.”