Sheffield shooting: Boy, 12, was ‘innocent victim’ caught in crossfire between rival gangs
A 12-year-old boy shot in Sheffield on Sunday (January 12) was an “innocent bystander” caught in the line of fire in a targeted attack, police say.
South Yorkshire Police also said they believe the incident, which took place on Errington Road in Arbourthorne, was part of a dispute between two organised crime groups linked to several incidents since mid-November, with the intended target in the area at the time of the shooting.
The victim, who lives locally, received a bullet wound to the left thigh in the shooting. The injury is not life-threatening and he is due to have surgery on Monday (January 13). He is expected to make a full recovery.
South Yorkshire Police's assistant chief constable Tim Forber said: “What we know so far is that the victim was standing outside the shop with three friends – aged 13, 15 and 16 – and it appears that they have been caught in the line of fire of a targeted attack.
“We do not believe the victim or his friends were the target. They are entirely innocent bystanders. “
Assistant chief constable Forber confirmed a white Ford Focus is believed to have been involved in the attack, which was used by the suspects to get to and from the scene. A “similar vehicle” was found with fire damage in Clough Road, Sheffield just after 6pm that evening.
“We are still trying to establish the number of people in the car and that’s an important line of enquiry for us,” he said.
“At this stage we suspect that the target of the attack was another male in the area at the time. We suspect this is about a dispute between two organised crime groups – and this is linked to a number of incidents which have taken place since mid-November.”
He added: “There have already been a number of arrests in relation to the linked incidents and five people remain on bail while those investigations continue.
“We have got a specialist team dedicated to this investigation and there will continue to be enhanced and visible patrols in the area to reassure the community.”
“This is a shocking incident. It’s impossible that anyone who is a parent – and I’m a parent of a 12-year-old myself – not to imagine quite how horrific this is and how the young boy's parent’s must be feeling.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting incident number 516 from 12 January.