'I think you've been shot', victim told

EMMA WHITTAKER
Last updated 09:38 19/02/2014
Ziyu Xiao
NASTY WOUND: Ziyu Xiao spent five days in hospital after being shot with an airgun.

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Airgun victim Ziyu Xiao did not initially realise she had been shot in the knee.

The 20-year-old suddenly fell to the ground while walking with friends in Mt Roskill at May Rd around 10pm on January 25.

She didn't feel any pain but there was a lot of blood and a friend was called to help get her to hospital.

"He found a hole and said, ‘I think you've been shot'.

"It was unbelievable, I was just walking on the road."

X-rays revealed an airgun pellet lodged above her right kneecap.

The Chinese national has been in New Zealand for three years and is studying for a bachelor of applied management.

She spent five days in hospital after having the pellet surgically removed and still has some pain in her leg, despite being largely recovered.

The Mt Roskill resident had walked the same route before but is now nervous about being out at night.

Police have not been able to identify the shooter and Ms Xiao thinks the culprit could have been a child or teenager who didn't realise the risks involved with an airgun.

"I want to say to them ‘it's too dangerous'," she says.

People over 18 do not need a licence to own most types of airguns and the penalties for misuse are the same as those for other firearms.

Airgun retailer Ron Young says some users might not respect the power of the weapon. He always explains to buyers what type of gun is appropriate for their needs and what their obligations are.

"If you don't have a big area to shoot in we say why don't you buy a BB gun. If you're in a big secluded area then you could have an air rifle."

He says guns being sold on the internet create problems because people are not necessarily getting the same education.

"There is always going to be an element of idiots," Young says.

Contact Avondale police on 820 5763 with any information.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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