A gang member who wrote a rap in prison about shooting a 12-year-old boy has been found guilty of attempted murder.
Stephen Dunford, 25, fired a shotgun from the passenger seat of a car as it drove past the boy and his friends on Northern Avenue in Arbourthorne, Sheffield, in January.
The boy, who was not the intended target, was hit in the leg – and doctors have since been unable to remove the bullet lodged in his thigh, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
South Yorkshire Police said a second child in the group had a “miraculous escape”, as a bullet passed through the hood of his jacket, narrowly missing his head and neck.
Dunford, from Sheffield, was heard to say “we got one” after multiple shots were fired at the group, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
He went on to write a rap, while he was on remand in prison, containing the lyric “a youth was hit by a stray”, which detectives said was a reference to a bullet and his involvement in the shooting.
Dunford recited the rap during a prison phone call which was recorded and then shared on social media.
On 12 January, the 12-year-old boy was standing with a group of friends outside a sandwich shop on Northern Avenue.
The group had intended to visit the cinema that afternoon, but at around 3.45pm, the attack happened.
Emergency services rushed to the scene and transported the boy to hospital, where he had surgery for leg injuries before he was discharged.
Dunford was arrested two days later and charged, despite claiming he had been at his grandparents’ for Sunday dinner on the afternoon of the shooting, the court was told.
He was found guilty of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life on Monday after a six-week trial.
He was also convicted of an additional count of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, in connection to an unrelated shooting two days earlier on Northcote Avenue in the city.
A second man, Brandon Bailey, 26, of Manor Park Way, Sheffield, was found guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life.
He had pleaded guilty to possession of criminal property.
Detective Chief Inspector Jade Brice, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “This was an atrocious act, which resulted in the shooting of a young, innocent boy.
“The victim that day was not Dunford’s intended target but the incident has had a profound impact on him and his family.
“CCTV footage from that afternoon shows a white car drive past the group and witnesses described shots being fired. The boys immediately ran away from the car, clearly terrified.
“One of the boys, 12 years of age at the time, was shot in the leg. He bravely managed to run home, where his father, understandably traumatised, called emergency services to the scene.
“A second boy had a miraculous escape as one of the bullets struck the hood of his jacket, narrowly missing his neck and head.”
Julian Briggs, from the CPS, said: “It is only by great good fortune that Dunford’s actions did not result in the tragic death of the 12-year-old child. The second child also narrowly escaped serious injury or death.
“Dunford is a highly dangerous individual and he is now facing a long jail sentence.”
A third defendant, Devon Gregory, 23, of Heeley Green, Sheffield, was found not guilty of attempted murder and conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Dunford and Bailey will be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on October 2.