Ashley Cole accidentally shoots fan Tom Cowan with air rifle at Chelsea training ground

27 February 2011 05:12
Ashley Cole has been rapped by his bosses at Chelsea after he shot a work placement student with an air rifle.

The England international is believed to have accidentally shot 21-year-old Tom Cowan from just 5ft away as he 'larked about' with a high-powered .22 rifle at the club's training ground.

Accident: Ashley Cole, seen here in Chelsea's FA Cup game against Everton last Saturday, reportedly shot an intern with an air rifle at the club's training ground last Sunday

Victim: Tom Cowan

A club statement read: 'We have fully investigated the incident and we are taking appropriate action. We will not be commenting further as it is an internal matter.'

The News of the World said he wounded the intern who was given medical treatment on the spot, but two days later the wound was still weeping and had to be treated again.

Asource told the paper: 'It's truly inconceivable that a Premier League footballer could bring a gun to the training ground.

'But Ashley pulled the rifle from a box and started larking about with it in the changing room. Cole didn't know the gun was loaded but it's a disgrace. His behaviour beggars belief.'

The incident is believed to have happened last Sunday morning when ?110,00-a-week Cole, 30, arrived for training at the Chelsea's Cobham training ground in Surrey holding the weapon, complete with a muzzle and nightscope.

The .22 air rifle is the most powerful gun that can be owned in the UK without a licence and if misused, it can kill.

Tom is a Loughborough sports student on a year's internship with the west London club.

Sources at Chelsea said: 'Tom screamed as this lead pellet hit him in the side. He was bleeding profusely. He was in agony and seemed to go into shock as he steadied himself  and sat down on one of the benches.'

The weapon: A .22 air rifle gun like the one Cole is believed to have shot Tom with

Tom was given two days off to recover and on Wednesday, was reportedly asked to attend a meeting with Chelsea bosses, who are believed to have gone into 'lockdown' over the incident and are 'deeply worried'.

The source added: ' A professional footballer bringing agun to training is not just overstepping the mark, it's taking a running leap over it.'

It is understood that Cole has been reprimanded by his bosses at Chelsea and had also apologised to Tom.

But Tom's father Ronald, is said to be furious and is demanding to know what action will be taken against the England player.

The source said: 'He needs to know that Cole realises the consequences of his actions.'

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Source: Daily_Mail