Two teenagers arrested following the death of a 13-year-old boy in what police have called a “firearms” incident have been released on police bail.
It is believed the group of friends were “messing around with an air rifle”, leading to the youth who died being hit in the neck by a pellet.
Officers were called by the ambulance service to Thurston at 1.35pm on Sunday, May 1, to reports a male had sustained life-threatening injuries.
The injured teenager was taken to West Suffolk Hospital in a critical condition, where he sadly died a short while later.
A spokesman for Suffolk Police said they believed there was a discharge of a firearm, and are investigating the circumstances around the incident.
Detectives are thought to be working on the theory that the boy was shot accidentally and that there was no intention to harm him.
A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: “It is terrible for everyone. Everyone is horrified. We all know one another and it will hit the community hard.”
Reverend Manette Crossman, of St Peter’s Church in Thurston, Suffolk, said: “People in the village are absolutely horrified by what has happened today.
“Thurston is such a peaceful place and you don’t expect things like this to happen here.
“Our thoughts go out to the family and we villagers will be there to support them through the incredibly tough weeks ahead.”
Another neighbour described the aftermath and said first aiders tried to save his life.
A couple who live close by and have six children, added: “We are shocked and horrified.”
Two teenagers arrested on suspicion of manslaughter have been bailed pending further enquiries until next month.
A post mortem investigation into the teenager’s death was due to take place this morning (Mon).