'Shots went off two seconds apart:'

NEIGHBOURS have spoken of their shock at learning a young boy had been shot by another child in a horrific accident on the Southern Downs.

The five-year-old boy was shot with what is believed to be a rifle by an 11-year-old boy.

The boys are related and understood to be cousins.

An boy from a neighbouring property, who cannot be identified, said he was outside around 4pm when heard two shots fired in quick succession.

"I was playing on the veranda and me and another little girl heard them go off and she got pretty scared," the boy said.

"The shots went off about two seconds apart.

"They sometimes let off canons to scare the rabbits but that didn't sound like a canon to me.

"They were low-pitched shots.

"I went down to have a look through the trees but I couldn't see anything."

Another neighbour said she thought the property belonged to the grandfather of the five-year-old boy who was shot.

The young boy was transferred to Lady Cilento Hospital in a critical condition, which has since been declared stable.

A police spokesman said it was a tragic accident rather than a deliberate act and the injured boy was very lucky to be in a stable condition.

Police were unable to release information about the type of gun and how the child came to be in possession of the weapon.

A police spokesman said this tragedy was a reminder to gun owners to comply with their obligations under the Weapons Act to ensure that firearms were kept in a locked gun safe, as required by law.

Topics:  breaking news editors picks gun accident gun tragedy stanthorpe stanthorpe shooting young boy shot

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