TWO men have been shot in the face with an air rifle while walking along a busy road in Worcester.

One of them was left covered in blood after a pellet hit him on the chin as he was walking down Broad Street towards Bridge Street at around 8.30pm.

Minutes later a cyclist was hit in the forehead, inches from his left eye, just yards away at about 8.30pm on Monday night.

Although neither man was seriously injured, police have described it as “extremely reckless behaviour.” The first victim, who asked to be identified only as Gavin, said: “I just can’t believe people can be so cruel.

“To hit two people both in the head that is the very concerning part of it.

“It was as if that’s what their aim was – to hit someone’s head.”

The 28-year-old was walking back to his car from Worcester College of Technology and had just left his friend Rob Smith when he felt the pellet hit him.

He said: “I was just in front of the tattoo shop and suddenly I felt an impact into the side of my face.

“I put my hand to my face straight away and got a handful of blood.

“I shouted back to Rob, and said I’ve just been shot.

“I was in total shock.

Mr Smith, aged 26, from Malvern, added: “I heard a cracking noise like a car running over a plastic cup.

“Gavin came across the road and he was covered in blood.”

“Someone was taking pot shots.

“Someone could have been killed or blinded.”

Mr Smith said the men believed the shots were probably fired from nearby flats.

The friends telephoned police for help, who notified West Midlands Ambulance service which sent an ambulance and first responder.

Gavin, from Evesham, said: “The guy was having a look at it to make sure nothing was embedded there and within 20 minutes there was a knock on the ambulance door and it was this other guy who had just got shot.

“He was cycling past and it was right in the same place.

“He had got a big lump on his head and was bleeding as well.

“At that point we were in total disbelief and shock.”

“It was probably half an hour and the police came.

“I think they were from their firearms department.”

An air rifle pellet was subsequently recovered from the floor and Gavin drove to the accident and emergency at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Ambulance staff took the cyclist to hospital for further check-ups.

A police spokeswoman said: “This is extremely reckless behaviour that could have resulted in a more serious outcome.

“It’s lucky the injuries were not far worse.”

She added local police would make house to house enquiries and officers had not ruled out the shots coming from a stationery or passing car.

Witnesses are asked to call officers on 0300 333 3000 quoting 608s220210.