A 15-year-old boy is fighting for life in hospital after he was shot as he walked to school, police have said.
Roads have been sealed off in Kesgrave in Suffolk after the incident in Friends Walk at around 8.40am on Monday, with a marked police car parked outside nearby Kesgrave High School.
The victim was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where he is receiving urgent medical attention for very serious injuries, Suffolk Police said. A teenage boy has been arrested in connection with the shooting.
Armed officers were seen in a residential street in Ipswich, five miles from the scene.
Kesgrave High School said on Twitter that one of its Year 11 students had been involved in a serious incident on their way to school, but that pupils at the site were safe.
Police are treating the shooting as an isolated incident, and there is thought to be no wider threat to the school or local community.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Jones said: “Our immediate thoughts at this time are with the victim of this horrific incident and his family, who we are providing full support to.
“I understand this attack will have caused a great deal of alarm and distress to the people of Kesgrave and the surrounding area, but we are now satisfied that this was an isolated incident and there is no wider threat to the local community.
“Our priority is to keep everyone safe and I would like to stress that crimes such as this are extremely rare in Suffolk. This is an area with a number of schools nearby and going forward, parents should not be concerned about dropping off or collecting their children.
“However, there will be additional officers on patrol in Kesgrave to provide reassurance and I would encourage anyone with any concerns or information to speak to them.
A statement, posted by Kesgrave High School on Twitter, said: “We have been made aware by the police that there has been a serious incident involving one of our Year 11 students, on their way to school.
“Students in school are safe and we are managing the situation in constant, close communication with the police.
“Students are to remain in school and will be kept safe in liaison with the police. Police will be present in the area and around the school throughout the school day.
“At the present time we are expecting students to be dismissed at the end of the school day, 3.20, as normal.”
Friends Walk and Through Jollys were cordoned off and there was a partial closure on Ropes Drive as the police investigation continued.
The owner of an animal shelter in Kesgrave said a man believed to be the suspect in the shooting had been hiding in his back garden, but escaped before armed police officers arrived.
The resident, who asked not to be named, told the PA news agency the man “looked like he hadn’t had a haircut for a while”.
“I got woken up because my dogs were going absolutely ballistic at the back of the house,” he said.
“When I went to the back window to have a look there was a gentleman who looked like he was carrying something, at first I thought it was a bat or pole or something, and he went down behind my exotic animal enclosures.
He added that the man had a hooded top over his arm concealing whatever he was carrying.
“I’ve got no neighbours directly and I’ve got a woodland at the side… I didn’t see where he went.”
Phil Bennett, 38, of East Bergholt said his father lives near to the scene in Kesgrave and heard a gunshot.
Mr Bennett said he drove to check on his parents at their home in Lyon Close after seeing vague details of the incident on Facebook and becoming concerned.
“My dad heard a gunshot,” he said. “He’s a retired paramedic – he’s heard a lot of gunshots in his time so he stayed indoors.
“The next thing he knew there were police piling in, then it’s a scene of crime.
“It’s hard to believe this has happened 100 metres from my mum’s front door, that someone’s been shot.
“It’s terrible what’s going on.”
Anyone with information can contact the force on 101 quoting reference CAD 58 of September 7.