Photographer comes under fire from teen

A dramatic shot of a gun-toting teen opening fire on passing cars in Middlesbrough was taken by Teesside Gazette photographer Dave Charnley.

Charnley came under fire from the youth, who was taking pot shots with a pellet gun from a shop roof, when he realised he was having his picture taken.

The incident came in the middle of the Ban Young Guns campaign that the paper is running. The Evening Gazette began its campaign in June after 14-year-old Matthew Sheffield was accidentally shot dead with a .22 rifle by a 13-year-old friend.

Charnley said: “It was very worrying because he could have put lives at risk. If a car went by at speed, one of those pellets could have shattered a window.”

In a leader, the Gazette said: “If any Government minister was ever in doubt about why we have campaigned to Ban Young Guns they need to look no further than today’s front page. Indeed, to help them out, we will be sending a parcel of 10 of today’s Evening Gazettes direct to David Blunkett’s office in London for him and his aides to consider.”

There was an amazing follow-up for the Gazette, when the mother of the boy pictured allowed herself to be photographed by the newspaper smashing up his pellet gun with a hammer.

Another youth, who was with the gun boy was told by his dad to hand himself over to the police after his picture had appeared in the Gazette.

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