Two 12-year-old boys have been freed on police bail after 17 schoolchildren were shot in a playground with a ball-bearing gun.
The victims, aged seven to 11, were hit by the pellets which were fired through a hedge at Etchinghill Primary School, in Rugeley, Staffordshire, yesterday afternoon, as the youngsters played during their lunchtime.
The children - 15 boys and two girls - suffered bruises to the head, arms and hands but did not need hospital treatment, but police said it was fortunate no-one was seriously injured.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman confirmed that two boys were released pending further inquiries last night and ordered to answer bail on Sunday.
Chief Inspector Juliet Prince, of Staffordshire Police, said: "We are working closely with pupils and staff to build up a picture of what happened, and are treating the incident very seriously.
"It serves as yet another warning about the dangers of children having access to BB guns and air weapons."
Sarah Whetton, whose seven-year-old son Callum is a pupil, said she was shocked that this could happen in such a "nice" area.
The 28-year-old student, who lives opposite the school in Delafield Way, said: "It is disgusting for them not to be safe in their own school playground. It is worrying for any parent. We do not get anything like that around here at all. It is a nice community.
"I think it was just a prank and they haven't realised the seriousness of it and I don't think they understand the repercussions.
"For young children to want to deliberately hurt other children is awful. What was the reason for it?"
Callum added that the teachers had told pupils that "some people had been shot with a gun and some people had been bruised from it".
Headteacher Jenny Dodd said she was glad none of the children had been badly hurt.
"As soon as we were alerted we contacted the police and we're doing all that we can to help them with their inquiries.
"To begin with I don't think any of the children realised what was happening because I think they were so insignificant, being tiny pellets and mostly plastic.
Richard Caddy, from Staffordshire County Council, said: "Kids were playing happily in the playground when one of them complained they had been shot. The kids were sent inside and an investigation was started.
"It looks like up to 17 kids were injured, but we are not talking about significant injuries. Mainly bruising, but it was lucky it was not more serious than that." The school is expected to open as usual today. Etching Hill is a large voluntary-aided primary school with more than 400 pupils.