Girl, 12, tells of shooting horror

PUBLISHED: 13:32 07 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:48 06 May 2010

Shelby recovering at home with her parents Paul and Amanda

Shelby recovering at home with her parents Paul and Amanda

A YOUNG girl has spoken about the horror of being shot in the face while playing with friends. Shelby Prentice, 12, was with two friends by the River Ivel in Bells Brook, Biggleswade, when she was hit in the mouth by a shot from an air rifle fired by a ma

A YOUNG girl has spoken about the horror of being shot in the face while playing with friends.

Shelby Prentice, 12, was with two friends by the River Ivel in Bells Brook, Biggleswade, when she was hit in the mouth by a shot from an air rifle fired by a man hunting rabbits on The Common on Monday evening.

Talking at her home in Rose Lane, Biggleswade, Shelby, a pupil at Edward Peake Middle School, revealed the horrific moment when blood started pouring from her lip.

"I was playing with my two best friends, paddling in the river and throwing stones in the water, when I heard this sudden gust of wind near my face," said Shelby, who will not return to school until next week after treatment to her wound.

"I put my hand on my face and there was blood everywhere, all over my cheek and neck. I just froze.

"I looked across the river and saw a man hanging out of the window of a vehicle. One of my friends took me to her house which was nearby and her parents called my dad and an ambulance.

"I wasn't in pain despite all the blood and I never felt the pellet hit me. I will never go to the river again. I am too scared to go down there and so are my friends. We are all very shocked by what has happened.

Shelby was taken to Lister Hospital for treatment where a plastic surgeon stitched the wound. But she still needs dental treatment as her brace was damaged and some teeth loosened.

Shelby's father Paul said: "It is a tremendous shock when you get a call to say your daughter has been shot in the face and then find her covered in blood.

"These girls had just gone for their last night out at the end of the school summer holidays and I told her to be home by 9pm. For something like this to happen is beyond credibility.

"The injury could have been much worse and she could even have lost an eye."

After the incident had been reported to police, armed officers went to the area and the force helicopter was also used.

A man was later arrested and interviewed at Biggleswade police station. He was released on bail without charge pending further inquiries.

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