A TEENAGER who was shot in the groin this morning may have been fired on accidentally by a friend.

The 19-year-old was hit next to a communal doorway on the Marlowe Road Estate, behind the tower block in Wood Street, Walthamstow, just after 1am.

Residents on the estate, which is blighted by gangs, believe the gunman may have known his victim because they both apparently fled the scene together before police arrived.

Later in the night the victim turned up at Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone asking for treatment.

He is in a serious but stable condition.

One witness, who did not want to be named, said: “I was in my home when I heard a loud single 'pop' sound. I came out of my house and I saw one man lying on the ground and another standing over him shouting 'what the f***?' over and over again.

“At first I thought it was a mugging or something. I went back inside to get my friend and we came out together again straight away but they were gone.

“I didn't see their faces but they were two young teenagers, not very old. They must have escaped back inside the doorway and then run off together out of another entrance.

“I think they must have been mucking around and it went wrong.”

Residents claim it took police more than 20 minutes to arrive and say a CCTV camera pointing at the scene of the shooting was not working.

Another resident Domenico Melito, 41, said: “Ascham Homes are a joke. It takes a month, sometimes two months for repairs to get done and all the gates are left unlocked at night and the communal locks are broken.

Neighbour Thomas Kowlaski, 35, said: “My wife heard it in the middle of the night, it was like a small explosion.

“We have a six-year-old boy and we don't feel safe. There are youths hanging around, dealing drugs and fighting but the police do nothing.

“The PCSOs walk around but it's like they're on a parade. They're just here to be seen, but when it comes to arresting anyone or dealing with the problems forget it.”

Anyone with information about the shooting can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Click here to follow the Waltham Forest Guardian on Twitter