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A five-year-old child has been seriously injured after he was shot in the face by an eight-year-old boy, police have confirmed.
Officers were called to a property in Upper Park Road, Wickford, at 1.20pm on Sunday 3rd November 2013, following reports of an incident.
The injured boy is at the Royal London Hospital with a serious, but not life-threatening, face injury.
Essex Police said the shooting at the house in Upper Park Road in Wickford involved an illegally-held weapon.
It is understood the owners of the property were not at home at the time but were nearby.
An 18-year-old man was arrested for possessing of a firearm and drug offences. He has been released on police bail until 6th January 2014 while enquiries continue.
An Essex Police spokeswoman said: “Police are speaking to members of the family to determine the exact circumstances leading up to the incident .
“But (we) believe that this was an accidental discharge of the weapon and inquiries are ongoing.”
She said the 18-year-old was “related” to one of the boys, but would not say which.
The owners of the property were not in the house at the time, but were nearby when the child was shot.
A number of licensed firearms were also kept at the property, police say. These guns have been removed.
The force has refused to comment on the type of weapon or the relationship between the two children.