A 12-year-old boy has been flown to hospital after being shot in the face with a rifle on a property in south-western New South Wales, in what police believe was an accident.
Police said the boy was with a group of people on a rural property in Thuddungra, near Young.
Officers said the boy and a friend got their hands on a .22 rifle which fired, shooting a round which ricocheted into the boy’s face about 7:00pm.
He was airlifted to Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital where he remains in a stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.
Officers from Cootamundra Local Area Command have established a crime scene at the property, which is about 390 kilometres west of Sydney.
Detective inspector Scott Wilkinson from NSW Police said two boys were at the house when the weapon was fired.
“We understand that there were two young boys at the house and we understand at this early stage that one young boy has been asked to return a firearm to the firearm safe,” he said.
“We then understand that an incident has occurred where the firearm has been discharged and as a result one of the boys has suffered an injury as a result of that.”
Last month, a three-year-old girl was shot dead after handling a sawn off shotgun at Lalor Park in Sydney’s west.