Teenager could lose sight after being shot in the face while cycling home

James Elgy aged 15 was shot in the face with an air weapon.
James Elgy aged 15 was shot in the face with an air weapon.
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A teenage boy could lose the sight in his left eye after being shot with an air gun.

James Elgy, 15, was cycling home from a friend’s house on Saturday night when he was attacked by three boys.

James Elgy, aged 15, is in hospital after being shot in the face with an air weapon.

James Elgy, aged 15, is in hospital after being shot in the face with an air weapon.

James, a pupil at The St Robert of Newminster School, was near Herrington Burn, in Houghton, on his way home to Penshaw, when he was shot at about 10.30pm.

He said: “I was cycling along when someone shouted my name and told me to stop.

“I slowed down and shouted ‘who is it?’ Then I just felt something hit my eye. I can’t even describe the pain. It was the worst pain imaginable. I was screaming.”

James was unable to call an ambulance himself and knocked on a nearby door to ask for help.

I just felt something hit my eye and I can’t even describe the pain. It was the worst pain imaginable. I was screaming.

James Elgy

He was taken by ambulance to A&E at Sunderland Royal Hospital before being transferred to the Sunderland Eye Infirmary, where he is still being treated.

Doctors found that James, who is big brother to Ben, 14, had been shot with an air weapon when a CT scan revealed a pellet lodged in his nasal cavity.

Medics told the teenager that, if the pellet had hit a nerve or blood vessel, he could have died or suffered brain damage.

James is still waiting to learn if he has lost his sight in his eye and will have to wait two weeks before the pellet can be removed by a specialist in Newcastle.

He said: “I was really scared, but the pain just took over. I’m just trying to understand why someone would do this.

“If people are scared to contact the police, I hope they do it anonymously. I could lose my sight. That’s much worse than being a ‘grass’.”

Dad Gary, 43, an engineer, said: “The police need witnesses to catch those responsible. Anyone who may have seen the boys before or after this happened, should please come forward.”

Mum Donna Robson, 42, a care and support worker for people with learning disabilities, added: “It’s not like James was with them, mucking about with a gun.

“This was a disgusting, unprovoked attack which could affect him for the rest of his life.”

l Police say two 16-year-old boys have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 1260 190316 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.