VIOLENT youngsters in Inverness are targeting children as young as six with air guns.
Nine-year-old Cayden Martin was cycling in Mackay Road when he was chased and then shot in the back of his head. He returned home distressed, in pain and with a lump on his scalp.
His mother Kirsty Martin reported the issue to police on Wednesday after her son returned home at around 7pm. He believes it was other children from the area who were responsible, either in their last year of primary school or their first year of secondary.
Mrs Martin (34) is calling for air guns, including BB guns, to be banned.
"My son is so lucky that he only got it in the head and not his face or eyes. He was pretty shaken up and as soon as he got home he dumped his bike and said someone had fired a gun at his head.
"The issue needs to be dealt with quickly for everyone’s safety.
"I did phone 101 but I was told because it was just all children and I didn’t have a full name or address for the children involved, then they wouldn’t come out so I am having to do my own detective work."
She has approached Cauldeen Primary School and teachers will speak to youngsters about the weapons.
She said: "We have had problems with these guns before – cats being hurt and sheds damaged. I don’t understand who is buying them for their children."
Lorna Murdoch’s daughter and her friends were threatened with a BB gun on their way home from school. The incident also happened on Wednesday, at around 4pm in Balloan Road.
Mrs Murdoch said: "At first they thought he was just joking around but he had one gun in each hand and started shooting at them.
"They weren’t loaded at the time, nothing came out but my daughter got a shock when they heard that someone had got hurt. It would be too coincidental to be someone else on the same afternoon."
Separately, a six-year-old girl was shot in the chest and two teenage girls were threatened on their way home from school in the same area of the city.
City councillor Alasdair Christie said: "They are not toys. We have an obligation to be getting rid of these guns and the wider community, the police, the schools and parents need to make sure this doesn’t happen."
Legislation forbids anyone under the age of 14 from using an air gun. Police Scotland refused to comment.
If you have concerns regarding air guns, contact police on 101.