TWO paramedics were left shaken after their ambulance was hit by an airgun pellet.

The incident happened last Wednesday in Seaham Road, Houghton-le-Spring, Wearside.

Within a few minutes of the ambulance coming under fire, a car had a side window shattered in the same area, although police believe the damage could have been caused by a stone.

The shooting happened just before 9pm when the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) vehicle was answering a call in Fence Houses.

There were no patients on board.

The paramedic driving the vehicle said: “We heard and felt the ambulance being shot at. We kept driving until we were a safe distance away, and then got out and checked the vehicle and found an indentation.”

After informing NEAS Control, the crew were told to return to Seaham Station. As they travelled back, they were flagged down by a member of the public who told them that a woman’s car had also been shot at.

The woman was unhurt, but was suffering from shock.

The side window of her vehicle had been shattered.

Police were informed about both incidents.

Dave Edwards, risk officer at the NEAS, said: “It is extremely fortunate that in both cases, no-one was physically hurt. Anything that startles or distracts a driver could have serious consequences.

“Why anyone would want to shoot an air pistol or rifle at an ambulance is beyond me.”

A Northumbria Police spokesman said inquiries into the two incidents were ongoing.

Last week, vandals thought to be as young as ten were said to be putting lives at risk by targeting an ambulance station in Fishburn, near Sedgefield, County Durham.

A spate of criminal damage and anti-social behaviour has been reported at the station and the NEAS warned that the culprits – described as a hard core group of local children – were putting the lives of patients, staff and themselves at risk with their behaviour.

The youngsters are believed to have tampered with vehicles and other electrical equipment and put themselves in danger by climbing onto and jumping from the main building’s roof.