A 12-year-old boy has died after being shot in the eye with an airgun pellet.
Mitchel Picken died on Saturday, two days after he was shot
Ambulance personnel were called to Greenway Hall Road in Stockton Brook, Stoke-on-Trent, on Thursday afternoon.
Mitchel Picken died in hospital on Saturday from a penetration wound. Two boys, both 12, have been arrested and released on police bail.
In a statement Andrew and Joanne Picken said their son, who went to Holden High School in Sneyd Green, was a beautiful, intelligent young boy.
"We have lost a kind and caring son," they said.
"He and his brother Lewis, seven, thought the world of each other. There is now a massive gap in all of our lives."
Mitchel, from Baddeley Green Lane in Baddeley Green, was a Port Vale fan and a keen sports player.
The 12-year-old had played a season for Newcastle Town FC where he was chosen as the manager's player of the year.
Detective Inspector Neil Hulme said: "Our thoughts are very much with Mitchel's family and friends.
"This is obviously a very sensitive inquiry. We are working with the other two boys to establish exactly what happened, before deciding on the most appropriate way forward.
"Although the full circumstances have yet to be established, Mitchel's death would appear to serve as a terrible reminder of the dangers of children having access to air weapons."