A TEENAGE girl needed hospital treatment after she was shot in the face with an air rifle.

The 17-year-old was shot while out with her friends in the Dawdon Park area of Seaham on Tuesday night.

The pellet became lodged in the right side of her face, just above her eye, and she was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital for treatment.

Officers are carrying out a number of enquiries to trace the suspect.

Inspector Rachel Stockdale, from Seaham Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “This was a very painful and distressing experience for the victim, who required hospital treatment for her injury.

"She was incredibly lucky that the pellet missed her eye by centimetres. Anyone with any information on this incident should contact us as soon as possible.”

Any with information is asked to email seahamneighbourhoods@durham.pnn.police.uk, call 101 and ask for Detective Sergeant Jenna Cook at Seaham and Peterlee CID. Alternatively pass information on to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555111.