Family speak of anguish as man shot by police fights for life

James Wilson is in an induced coma fighting for his life in hospital after being shot by police in South Shields. Picture supplied by James' family.

James Wilson is in an induced coma fighting for his life in hospital after being shot by police in South Shields. Picture supplied by James' family.

The family of a South Shields man shot by police say they’re struggling as they watch their loved one fight for his life.

James Wilson, 24, was shot in the early hours of Tuesday morning after police received reports of a man in possession of a handgun.

A picture of James Wilson shared by his family.

A picture of James Wilson shared by his family.

Since then, his family has sat by his hospital bed as he fights for survival.

Today, they released this shocking image of James lying in a coma as his family will him to pull through.

His brother, Carl Wilson Jr, said: “The doctors have said everything is critical and we’re just waiting to see what’s happening.

“We all just feel horrible.”

A picture of James Wilson shared by his family.

A picture of James Wilson shared by his family.

Officers were called to Frenchmans Way in Horsley Hill, South Shields, at 1.02am and James was shot.

He was taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and has since been transferred to the city’s Freeman Hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

James, of Candlish Street, Westoe, has been put into an induced coma by doctors who operated on him for nine hours when he was admitted.

Carl has explained the family’s turmoil and the true extent of James’ condition.

Armed police shooting at Frenchmans Way

Armed police shooting at Frenchmans Way

The 27-year-old says the bullet went through James’ liver and came out the other side, also damaging his lungs.

Carl says his brother was carrying a BB gun when he went to his girlfriend’s home on Tuesday morning in response to a dispute with another man.

He said: “He was arguing with his girlfriend because they wouldn’t let him in the house. If they had just let him in none of this would have happened.”

His brother said that James did fire a BB gun during the dispute.

Armed police shooting at Frenchmans Way

Armed police shooting at Frenchmans Way

Armed response were called to the scene and James was shot by an officer. An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation has been launched.

Carl, who also lives in Candlish Street, said: “He’s been cut open from top to bottom. The bullet went through his liver and out the other side, and it’s damaged his lungs.

“They’ve put him in a coma and he was in theatre for nine hours, they had to save his life.

“He’s having another operation today that’s just to see how things are and what chance he’s got.

“The doctors said it’s critical. They’ve packed his insides to stop the bleeding and he’s not breathing on his own.

“We don’t know how long he’s going to be unconscious for, it’s just as long as he needs to be and there’s nothing we can do but wait.”

Carl has been at James’ bedside since Tuesday with his mum Tracey Todd, sister Stacey Wilson, 30, brother-in-law Kieron Casey and other relatives.

He added: “The police should have done checks before shooting him, he’s not known for carrying weapons.

“And why couldn’t they have shot him in the arm or the leg?

“He’s a good brother and a good lad, we’re really close. Everyone is struggling to cope and the people posting negative comments isn’t helping. They should keep their noses out until they know what’s really going on.

“People are saying things like, ‘that’s one more criminal off the streets’, but they don’t even know him.

“The whole family is just trying to stick together and trying to get through it.”