An intoxicated 18-year-old who allegedly shot a friend in the knee with an air gun early yesterday morning, had earlier aimed the gun at other friends who were forced to take cover behind a fence and wheelie-bin, police say.
The man had been having a belated 18th birthday celebration with several friends in Alexandra on Sunday night and the incident happened just after midnight.
"During the night he became agitated and angry and went and got the air gun he'd recently purchased and fired it a number of times, out on the street," Sergeant Derek Ealson said.
The man's companions, who had been drinking but "were not as intoxicated as him", were forced to take cover behind a fence and wheelie-bin when the man allegedly aimed the air rifle in their direction, Mr Ealson said.
An 18-year-old man was shot and the slug pellet remained lodged in his knee. He received medical treatment at the time but was not admitted to hospital. He had been taken to Dunedin Hospital yesterday to have the injury assessed and was likely to have surgery today to remove the pellet, Mr Ealson said.
"It was very lucky in the circumstances that more people did not receive injuries and no greater injury was suffered."
The incident was an example of the dangers of mixing firearms and alcohol, he said.
Inquiries were continuing and more charges could be laid, Mr Ealson said.
An 18-year-old Alexandra man appeared in the Alexandra District Court yesterday on a charge of causing injury by using an airgun carelessly.
He was remanded to August 21 and the bail conditions included a ban on possessing a firearm or applying for a firearms licence.