Gunman bought rifle 'to be cool' - Air rifle shooter played violent games
THE man who shot a council worker in the shoulder with an air rifle was a fan of a violent computer game who thought owning the weapon would be "cool".
Ersid Cela, of Clas y Bedw, Waunarlwydd, bought the BSA .22 calibre weapon for £200 from a drug dealer in Mumbles after playing the Call of Duty computer game, in which players shoot each other with a range of automatic weapons.
But it went off when he tried to load it, hitting council workman Jason Crocker in the shoulder, as he was fixing a fence outside Cela's house. A second shot hit Mr Crocker's van.
Cela admitted actual bodily harm and criminal damage when he appeared before Swansea magistrates yesterday.
Prosecutor Linda Baker said the 23-year-old thought owning a rifle would be cool.
"He liked to play the video game Call of Duty. He paid £200 up front for the gun after meeting a man in Mumbles to buy cannabis."
Mrs Baker said after arriving home last Monday, Cela and his girlfriend Sarah fired the gun inside their house — with a pellet "just missing the TV". The following morning Cela loaded the weapon in his room as Mr Crocker was working outside.
"Mr Crocker heard a hissing sound go through the air and then felt a pain in his right shoulder," added Mrs Baker.
"He felt blood on his hands and then went weak in the knees with shock."
A second shot then hit the Swansea Council van.
Defending solicitor Stephen Burnell said his client had not intended to shoot his victim.
"The rifle had gone off by accident and must have fired through the curtain or a gap in it. That has been accepted by the Crown and the police," he said.
Mr Burnell added that Cela had also pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and had handed himself in to police.
But District Judge Manning Davies said regardless of whether the shooting was an accident or not, it was still a serious offence.
"My sentencing powers are inadequate and therefore I commit the case to the Crown Court," he said.
"It is fortunate that Mr Crocker was not seriously injured.
"A few centimetres higher or lower and it may have hit his head."
Judge Davies also declined bail and remanded Cela in custody until he appears at Swansea Crown Court on July 26 for sentencing.
No charges have been brought against an 18-year-old woman, who was arrested following Tuesday's incident.