Teen arrested in connection with BB gun shooting at Bristol Trans Pride event

Stock image of a person holding a trans Pride flag

A teenage boy has been arrested after BB gun pellets were said to have been fired in the direction of people at a Trans Pride event in Bristol. 

The alleged attack happened during the annual Trans Pride Picnic on Sunday (2 July) at Castle Park, which was attended by around 100 people. 

A 14-year-old boy has been taken into custody, and a BB gun recovered, BBC News reported.

Officers, who are treating the incident as a hate crime, are now looking for a second male in connection with the attack. 

Kaz Self, the vice-chair of Trans Pride South West, told PinkNews shortly after the incident that she had been “struck by a small object” during the event. 

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

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After being struck again, she claimed she saw two men shooting at the crowd with BB guns and orange pellets.

“They approached the attendees and went between us until a trans woman decided to chase them off,” Self added. “I did worry that things were about to escalate when they stopped and turned towards her, but they eventually ran off.”

The group reported the incident, and two police officers arrived at the scene. No serious injuries were reported.

Avon and Somerset Police told PinkNews that an investigation is currently ongoing, and that the incident is being treated as a hate crime.

In a statement after the event, chief inspector Stephanie McKenna said: “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.

“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 [them] who will be happy to help.”

Trans and non-binary activism group Bristol Leading Against Transphobia said that it was “profoundly saddened” by the incident, which had happened during a day of “joyous celebration”.

A spokesperson added: “It is a massive relief that no injuries were sustained and that this incident is being treated as a potential hate crime. 

“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.”

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.

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