‘I think you’ve been shot’, vic­tim told

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Air­gun vic­tim Ziyu Xiao did not ini­tially re­alise she had been shot in the knee.

The 20-year-old sud­denly fell to the ground while walk­ing with friends in Mt Roskill at May Rd around 10pm on Jan­uary 25.

She didn’t feel any pain but there was a lot of blood and a friend was called to help get her to hospi­tal.

‘‘He found a hole and said, ‘I think you’ve been shot’.

‘‘It was un­be­liev­able, I was just walk­ing on the road.’’

X-rays re­vealed an air­gun pel­let lodged above her right kneecap.

The Chi­nese na­tional has been in New Zealand for three years and is study­ing for a bach­e­lor of ap­plied man­age­ment.

She spent five days in hospi­tal af­ter hav­ing the pel­let sur­gi­cally re­moved and still has some pain in her leg, de­spite be­ing largely re­cov­ered.

The Mt Roskill res­i­dent had walked the same route be­fore but is now ner­vous about be­ing out at night.

Po­lice have not been able to iden­tify the shooter and Ms Xiao thinks the cul­prit could have been a child or teenager who didn’t re­alise the risks in­volved with an air­gun.

‘‘I want to say to them dan­ger­ous’,’’ she says.

People over 18 do not need a li­cence to own most types of air­guns and the penal­ties for mis­use are the same as those for other firearms.

Air­gun re­tailer Ron Young says some users might not re­spect the power of the weapon. He al­ways ex­plains to buy­ers what type of gun

‘it’s too is ap­pro­pri­ate for their needs and what their obli­ga­tions are.

‘‘If you don’t have a big area to shoot in we say why don’t you buy a BB gun. If you’re in a big se­cluded area then you could have an air ri­fle.’’

He says guns be­ing sold on the in­ter­net cre­ate prob­lems be­cause people are not nec­es­sar­ily get­ting the same ed­u­ca­tion.

‘‘There is al­ways go­ing to be an el­e­ment of idiots,’’ Mr Young says.

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