Eight-year-old 'accidentally shot' Essex boy aged five

18-year-old man arrested for possession of a firearm and unrelated drug offences

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The Independent Online

An eight-year-old boy accidentally shot a five-year-old child in the face, police have confirmed.

Officers were called to a house in Wickford, Essex at 1.20pm on Sunday afternoon to attend reports that a firearm had been discharged.

The child was taken to the Royal London Hospital with a serious but not life threatening facial injury, according to the BBC.

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said today the gunshot was thought to have been fired by the eight-year-old boy. They believe the shooting was an "accidental discharge of a weapon".

The force has refused to comment on the type of weapon fired or the relationship between the two children.

It is understood the owners of the property in Upper Park Road, Wickford, were not at home at the time of the incident but were nearby.

An 18-year-old man was arrested for possession of a firearm and unrelated drug offences. He has been released on bail until 6 January while enquires continue.

The weapon and other legally-held firearms at the property were removed by police officers.