As reported, police are hunting the sharpshooter who landed missiles on three shoppers – who were unharmed – outside the Co-op in Forton Road on Friday at about 9.20pm.
The incident – which follows reports of lasers being aggressively beamed at people in the area – has increased both anxiety and intrigue in the busy neighbourhood.
Nearby resident Angela Campbell, 47, was approaching the shop just after the shootings when she saw three boys scuttling off into the dark.
‘I was coming towards the store when I saw three young lads of about age 15 or 16 outside the front cross the road before running off,’ she said. ‘I was apprehensive when I saw them. I thought “thank god they crossed the road”.
‘When I got in the shop one of the staff members said she was “not sure” what happened and two others were talking about it.’
Describing the boys, Angela said: ‘All were wearing dark clothes and all had skinny pigeon legs. One of them had a hood on.’
Shopper Sue Page, 65, said: ‘Of course the incident is a worry. I haven’t been here for ages...I don’t think I’ll be coming back for a while now.’
A resident, who did not want to be named, said: ‘I’ve seen lasers being shone down on to people outside the Co-op on occasions before.’
Meanwhile, others were less concerned about the turn-of-events. Mick Lush, 70, joked: ‘If it was an AK45 that was being shot then I would be more worried.’
He added: ‘I’m sure it was just an air gun and was only pellets being fired. In my day that sort of thing would happen all the time. We would play on bomb sites.
‘It is unusual to hear about this sort of incident now though. We have CCTV here and outside the Co-op if they police wanted to look.’
Police have warned the attacker(s) the ambush was a criminal offence under the Firearms Act 1968.
‘None of the customers involved suffered any injuries, but we would very much like to catch up with the person(s) responsible,’ police posted on social media.
‘For those in any doubt, an air weapon is an apparatus which fires a projectile by compressed air/gases. It is an offence to carry an air weapon, whether loaded or not, in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.
‘If you saw or heard anything of this incident, have any CCTV which may assist in our investigation, or know who was responsible, please call 101 and quote incident number 44210045156.’