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Residents sheltered terrified family and two-year-old girl hurt in car shooting

The child was injured by shattered glass after the car she was travelling in was shot at.

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Clifton Road in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham (Richard Vernalls/PA)

Clifton Road in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham (Richard Vernalls/PA)

Clifton Road in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham (Richard Vernalls/PA)

A shocked resident has told how they sheltered a two-year-old girl and her terrified family after she was injured in a shooting.

The girl was hit by flying glass from the shattered window of a Volkswagen Golf she was travelling in on Sunday evening, West Midlands Police said.

The force said that she and three other people got out before the vehicle was then stolen in Clifton Road in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham.

Neighbours said the incident unfolded in a cul-de-sac, after the occupants – all thought to be from the same family – were reversing back along the street.

The girl had some little cuts on her headResident

The car was abandoned in the same street a short time later, according to residents.

A hunt is now under way for those responsible.

A man who took in the terrified family, and who did not wish to be named, said: “I think they had been for a meal and they had gone to leave, but that end of the road is a dead end.

“As they were coming back up, it happened.

“The police said a bullet had gone through the back window and then lodged in the roof.”

He added: “The family got out and went and hid behind another car, then I got them into the house.

“The woman, the mother I think, was pretty hysterical, but the child was quite calm.

“The girl had some little cuts on her head.”

The injured child was taken to hospital with minor cuts and has since been discharged, the police said.

Paramedics treated another passenger, a man in his 20s, for shock.

Another man, who has lived on the road for more than 15 years, said he returned from mosque prayers to a scene of utter “commotion”.

The man, who works at a car garage and has two young children of his own, said: “Somebody had fired at a vehicle – we think it was a car-jacking.

“There was a family in the car and the neighbour took them in.”

He added: “They had come for a meal, the woman had come to the bottom, realised it was a dead-end.

“As she put it in reverse and has driven back, this vehicle has come up behind and had a go at them.

“I heard it was a husband, wife and their little daughter.”

Balsall Heath car shooting
The scene in Clifton Road, Birmingham, where residents said the shooting happened (Richard Vernalls/PA)

He added: “It’s getting worse and worse.

“We’ve had a few incidents on the bottom end of this road now, shootings, fights and all sorts, it’s just becoming a nightmare now.

“We thought it was a nice quiet road.

“I’ve got kids and literally it was outside on the doorstep.

“When I got back, I was thinking, bloody hell, how close can you get?”

Detectives described the incident, which happened at about 7.15pm, as “truly appalling”.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called at 7.22pm last night to reports of a gunshot incident on Clifton Road, Balsall Heath.

This is a truly appalling incident and the ordeal has traumatised a familyDetective Sergeant Simon Hanlon

“One ambulance attended the scene.

“On arrival we discovered two patients, a man and a child, who, following treatment at the scene for injuries not believed to be serious, were transported to hospital for further treatment.”

Meanwhile, officers have been scouring CCTV and are now appealing to the public for any information about those responsible.

Detective Sergeant Simon Hanlon, from force CID, said: “This is a truly appalling incident and the ordeal has traumatised a family.

“There were four people in the car at the time and it’s just fortunate no-one was more seriously injured.

“Gun crime is always unacceptable, but even more so when a young child’s safety is put at risk.

“We are working to establish the circumstances behind this attack and would urge anyone with information which can help us to come forward.”

Anyone with information is asked to use the force website or ring 101, quoting crime reference number 20BE/30019L/20, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

PA