TWO gun dramas in as many days last week left two people in hospital including a 14-year-old boy.
The teenager needed surgery to remove an air rifle pellet from his neck after he was shot near Morrisons in Queens Road on Tuesday evening (March 22). He remained in hospital yesterday but his injuries are not life-threatening.
A 39-year-old woman who was shot in the leg also needed surgery.
At about 6.30pm on Tuesday, police received reports that a 17-year-old girl had been shot in the back and a 49-year-old woman had been hit in the hand, although neither needed treatment. About an hour later, four more people were shot - the two taken to hospital plus a 63-year-old woman hit in the stomach and a 25-year-old man struck on the arm, neither of whom were hurt.
Nearby roads were cordoned off and after armed police descended on the area, officers were directed to an address in Queens Road, which they raided and arrested two men aged 19 and 20, an 18-year-old woman and a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of firearms offences and actual bodily harm. They were interviewed and released on bail while the investigation continues.
Superintendent Steve Barry of Sussex Police said: “These were nasty, random attacks on unsuspecting members of the public. Two of the victims required hospital treatment, but we are satisfied that the injuries are consistent with being caused by an air weapon and not anything more sinister.
“However, this is no excuse. Our response to the incident was a full firearms operation and the suspects were confronted by armed police officers. This is something we obviously do not want to happen as it increases the risks for all involved.
“Armed officers have removed a weapon for examination and I am confident that there is no further threat in the area,” he added.
The Queens Road incident unfolded just a day after a man pointed a gun - which turned out to be fake - at a receptionist in the Citizens Advice 1066 offices in Cornwallis Terrace. Police shut off St Margaret’s Road, St Leonards, on Monday afternoon and arrested a man who was later charged with possessing an imitation firearm.
Angel Cabera, 60, appeared before Hastings Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning. He entered no plea and will appear at Lewes Crown Court on July 1.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said yesterday: “These incidents are not linked at all and the community should not be concerned.”