Boy, 12, shot in the face with a rifle on rural property

A 12-year-old boy has been flown to hospital after being shot in the face with a rifle on a property in south-western New South Wales, in what police believe was an accident.

Police said the boy was with a group of people on a rural property in Thuddungra, near Young.

Officers said the boy and a friend got their hands on a .22 rifle which fired, shooting a round which ricocheted into the boy's face about 7:00pm.

He was airlifted to Sydney's Westmead Children's Hospital where he remains in a stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.

Officers from Cootamundra Local Area Command have established a crime scene at the property, which is about 390 kilometres west of Sydney.

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