A college security guard was shot three times with an air rifle while on night patrol, it has been reported.

The 56-year-old, who has not been named, was hit in the face, bicep and thigh while patrolling Ofsted grade two-rated Manchester College’s Openshaw campus, on Sunday, December 28, according to the Manchester Evening News.

It was reported that just before being shot at around 9.40pm, the guard noticed a red laser light shining at him and went to investigate.

He reportedly found nothing suspicious, but upon turning away, he heard a pellet fly past his head and was then hit three times.

The guard fled the scene and called the police, but despite a search of the 26,000-learner college’s grounds, there was no sign of the culprit.

PC Paul Harrison said: “Understandably the victim was quite shaken up by this incident but I would like to praise him for managing to get himself away from the situation and alerting the police so quickly.

“The investigation is still at an early stage but I would urge anybody with information about this incident to please come forward.“

No one from the college was available for comment.