Anti-trans youths shoot BB gun at group celebrating Bristol Trans Pride picnic

A member of Trans Pride South West taking a selfie in a park next to a trans flag waving in the air.

Organisers of a Trans Pride Picnic have been left appalled after attendees were reportedly shot at by two anti-trans assailants wielding BB guns.

The alleged attack occurred during a Trans Pride Picnic on Sunday (2 July) at Castle Park, Bristol, where over 100 members of the community, as well as allies, came together to meet and chat.

The event is held every year on 2 July and is described by organisers as a place to have a “pleasant afternoon, socialising as a community, with friends, families and allies present, including young children”.

Trans Pride South West (TPSW) vice chair Kaz told PinkNews that, during the midday event, she was chatting to a friend when she was struck by a small object.

“I initially assumed it was hailstones, looked up, but there were no grey clouds above,” she said.

She says she was then struck again at least four times by several orange BB pellets and saw two men in their early 20s shooting at the crowd with rapid-fire BB guns.

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“They approached the attendees and went between us until a trans woman decided to chase them off,” Kaz continued.

“I did worry that things were about to escalate when they stopped and turned towards her, but they eventually ran off.”

The two men, wearing black clothing, reportedly left the scene in the direction of Bristol Bridge.

Kaz confirmed that TPSW officials filed a police report shortly after the incident and that two police officers arrived at the scene.

Avon and Somerset Police told PinkNews that an investigation is currently ongoing and that no reports of serious injuries were made, but that attendees were left shaken by the incident.

CCTV footage is currently being reviewed by investigating officers, who are treating the incident as a hate crime.

Chief inspector Stephanie McKenna said in a statement: “We take hate crime very seriously and will not tolerate it.

“No one should have to put up with offences like this, or face discrimination or prejudice just for being themselves,” McKenna continued. “We’ve made contact with the organisers of Bristol Pride to keep them updated on our investigation and we encourage anyone who has been a victim of hate crime to report it.

“As with all large events, officers will be in Bristol this weekend to keep the community safe, and if anyone has any concerns, please stop and speak to one of our officers who will be happy to help.”

Officers are keen to speak to witnesses who were in Castle Park between 2:30 – 3pm who saw the crime took place.

Anyone with relevant information is urged to contact 101 and quote the reference 5223157339.

“I have evidence that this was a targeted attack,” Kaz added.

“But with the anti-trans rhetoric, I fear that the offenders may have been emboldened when they saw the trans flag we had on display.

“As an organiser of the event, one of my main concerns is the safety of the attendees. I had always feared that an attack might happen, it was very disappointing this happened as it’s now put me off doing something similar.”

Local LGBTQ+ groups share solidarity

Following the incident, several groups across Bristol have shared statements expressing their shock at the attack.

Trans and non-binary activism group Bristol Leading Against Transphobia wrote that it was “profoundly saddened” by the news, adding that the event was meant to be a “joyous celebration”.

“It is a massive relief that no injuries were sustained and that this incident is being treated as a potential hate crime,” their statement continued.

“We stand in full solidarity with Trans Pride South West and Bristol Pride, and with Bristol Pride coming up, it provides a wonderful and powerful opportunity to celebrate as a city our diversity, acceptance, and inclusion.”

Nonprofit advocacy group Stand Against Racism and Inequality also shared their condolences after the incident, saying: “We’re so sorry to hear that this happened yesterday.

“We’re here to help in any way we can. There is no place for hate in our city. People should be able to gather for a joyful event without feeling afraid. We stand with all those affected by this.”

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.