A WIGAN schoolboy is recovering after being shot in the face by a sniper with an airgun.
Hindley High pupil Jordan Winstanley, 13, was hit by a gunman hiding in bushes as he walked with friends.
The teenager collapsed and was rushed to hospital and transferred to a specialist facial unit, where he underwent a three-hour operation.
Jordan’s parents have been told by medics that the pellet could have severed key nerves in his left cheek and mouth – and he may never smile again.
His mum, Michelle Bleakley, 34, said: “We are just keeping our fingers crossed that his facial movements will return. “There is a chance that the nerves could be completely severed. Jordan could have lost his eye if the pellet had been two inches higher.
“It also could have gone through his neck. It could have killed him. It was a disgusting attack and completely unprovoked.”
Michelle, of Freshfield Avenue, Atherton, is calling for a ban on air weapons.
Jordan had been walking with two friends on land near to Hall Lee Bank Park in Westhoughton when the sniper struck. He was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital before being transferred to the unit in Blackburn.
The teenager was finally discharged with 12 stitches both inside and outside his cheek.
The swelling must clear before he can be assessed by surgeons again in two weeks.
Jordan, a pupil at Hindley High, said: “I was just walking when I felt a sharp pain.
“I just remember falling to the ground. My friends told me that I was bleeding and I covered it with my sleeve.
“The ambulance was there the next minute. It was very scary.”
Jordan’s dad Steve Winstanley, 32, said: “The child or adult who has got this air rifle needs to know the danger of what they are doing.
“Someone out there thinks it’s okay to go around taking pot-shots at people.
“It’s horrendous. This air rifle needs to be taken off the streets.”
Police have now launched an investigation, but sadly none of the boys saw the gunman.
Witnesses can call 0161 856 0064 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.