POLICE have launched an investigation after a teenager was shot in the back with an air rifle five times.

The boy, who is 17, was on his bike in Prince Philip Road in Colchester.

He was followed by another teenager who started shouting abuse before shooting the teenager in the back.

His mum, who has asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, said: “He was just riding his bike home from his grandad’s. The teenager followed my son and shot him in the back five times and one pellet hit his head.

“He then went to hit him with the gun itself.

“My son rode off and got home.”

Ward councillor Dave Harris was notified about the incident as has pledged to help police with their investigation.

He said: “I have written to the police and have offered them my support. The community will pull together, I’m sure.

“For me, a firearm is a firearm and it can do a lot of damage.”

Mr Harris is appealing for anyone in the area with CCTV to contact the police.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We received reports a teenage boy had been shot at with what we believed to be an air weapon shortly before 1pm on Sunday.

“It is reported the suspect, also believed to be a teenager, was on a bicycle and wore a black tracksuit.

“We believe both parties were known to each other and this was a targeted incident.

“Our inquiries are ongoing.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and quote the crime reference number 42/163140/19 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555