A drugged-up teenager opened fire on shoppers with a fake gun, forcing armed police to block off the high street below.

Creating a panicked frenzy, Kieron Gomm hit a balloon seller in the face as he targeted pedestrians in Southampton with pellets on August 29.

Some on Above Bar Street believed Gomm, 19, was taking aim with a real rifle, sparking fears of serious casualties.

Judge Peter Henry told the teenager at Southampton Crown Court how he was lucky armed police did not shoot him with a real weapon.

Gomm who was high off cocaine and marijuana at the time of the offence, has been sentenced to 14 months in a young offenders institution, the Daily Echo reports.

Southampton Crown Court
Southampton Crown Court heard Gomm was under the influence of drugs at the time of the offence

Southampton Crown Court heard one witness "feared people may be killed" and another said he "appeared to be enjoying causing fear".

Luckily the targeted balloon seller was uninjured from the pellet.

A separate witness made a dash to a nearby restaurant for safety and dialled 999 for the police after having the imitation gun pointed at her.

"She thought [the guns] were real," prosecutor Simon Gledhill said.

Gomm, 19 of Foundry Lane was on the rooftop with another man.

Accused 22-year-old Aaron Vas fled to India after being charged last September, with a warrant still outstanding for his arrest.

Kieron Gomm
Kieron Gomm fired pellets from a fake gun which shoppers feared was real

During the sentencing on Thursday, Judge Peter Henry told Gomm that he was "very lucky that armed [police] responders did not shoot you".

The court heard that just days before the incident, Gomm and others had been stopped by police for shooting traffic signs with a "blue coloured pistol".

Officers confiscated the weapon, as well as some cannabis and gas canisters.

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In January this year, Gomm was convicted of assaulting a police officer on August 23, 2020.

During mitigation, defending Jamie Gammon said Gomm was suffering from undiagnosed mental health issues and was on prescribed psychiatric medication to help.

The court also heard that the timing of the incident coincided with the one-year anniversary of his mother’s death.

Mr Gammon insisted that Gomm was now a "different" person after a council-funded rehabilitation programme, which him continuing would be "more in the public interest" than a prison sentence, he told the court.

But Judge Henry said that due to the "extremely serious offence”, he could not pass a suspended sentence.

He added that he was “in no doubt” that the “main factor” of his actions was from his intoxication due to drugs, rather than his mental health issues alone.