UPDATED: Teenager critical after being shot in the head while riding on motorbike in Sunderland

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A 15-year-old boy is fighting for his life after being shot in the head while riding on a motorcycle in a Sunderland street.

Police were called to Hewitt Avenue at 8.40pm last night after reports a 15-year-old boy had been shot in the head while riding pillion on a motorbike.

Police on the scene in Hewitt Street, Ryhope.

Police on the scene in Hewitt Street, Ryhope.

He suffered a serious head wound and was taken to Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary where he remains in a critical condition.

Detectives investigating the shooting say at this stage it is not clear whether or not a gun or an air weapon was used.

A 39-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were arrested on suspicion of GBH and remain in police custody.

The rider of the motorbike was not injured.

Police on the scene in Hewitt Street, Ryhope.

Police on the scene in Hewitt Street, Ryhope.

A section of the street was cordoned off throughout Thursday as forensics teams examined the scene.

A senior Northumbria Police office said he believed it is an isolated incident and not linked to any previous incidents in the city where a firearm has been discharged.

Extra officers are in the area to carry out reassurance.

Southern Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Ged Noble, said: “The 15-year-old boy remains in hospital in a critical condition and our thoughts are with his family at this time. We understand they and the local community will be concerned about this incident and will have questions around the circumstances, and I would like to reassure them we have a team of detectives working to establish what happened.

Police on the scene in Hewitt Street, Ryhope.

Police on the scene in Hewitt Street, Ryhope.

“At this stage it is not clear whether or not the weapon used was a gun or an air weapon however I would like to stress that we do not believe that this incident is in anyway linked to other incidents that we have had in the city where a firearm has been discharged.

“Neighbourhood officers are in the area, speaking to local residents and offering reassurance and I would urge anyone who is concerned to speak to an officer on patrol.”

Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 1063 061016 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Police on the scene in Hewitt Street, Ryhope.

Police on the scene in Hewitt Street, Ryhope.