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Last Updated: Monday, 9 May, 2005, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Boy killed by air pellet injury
Alex Cole
Alex Cole was a talented footballer and keen on falconry
A 12-year-old boy who was shot with an air rifle died after the pellet entered his brain, an inquest has heard.

Alex Cole was playing with a friend in the bedroom of a house in Conisbrough, Doncaster on 1 May when the gun went off. He died in hospital a day later.

His mother Marie Cole told Doncaster Coroner's Court the family decided to turn off Alex's life support machine after tests showed he was brain dead.

The inquest was adjourned while police investigations continue.

Det Insp Ray Turnbull, of South Yorkshire Police, said the youngster's body could not be released for burial until the inquiry was concluded.

Alex was always smiling and had a heart of gold. He was a popular, loveable and well-liked lad
Alex Cole's family

Mr Turnbull told coroner Stanley Hooper that Alex had been playing with a friend when the air rifle was fired.

Officers were called to the house at 1535 BST where they found Alex with an "eye injury".

He was initially taken to the Doncaster Royal Infirmary but later transferred to Sheffield Children's Hospital, where he died at 2200 BST on 2 May.

Earlier, the Cole family released a statement describing the Northcliffe School pupil as a talented footballer who was also keen on falconry.

"All of Alex's family and friends are devastated and no one will ever take his place," the statement read.

"Alex was always smiling and had a heart of gold. He was a popular, loveable and well-liked lad.

"We wish to thank everyone especially his friends, for the overwhelming response and for all the sympathy cards and floral tributes they have received."

'Tragic' shooting death boy named
04 May 05 |  South Yorkshire
Boy shot dead playing with friend
03 May 05 |  South Yorkshire

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