A three-year-old boy has been seriously injured in a suspected acid attack in a shop, police said.
The boy was “deliberately attacked” at Home Bargains in Worcester at 14:15 BST on Saturday, West Mercia Police said.
He is being treated in hospital for serious burns to his arm and face.
A 39-year-old man from Wolverhampton has been arrested in connection with the incident at Shrub Hill Retail Park, Tallow Hill.
Ch Supt Mark Travis described the incident as a “deliberate attack”. The city’s MP said it was “horrific”.
‘Contact police urgently’
Police released images taken from CCTV footage. “The three men in the photo may have information vital to our investigation”, Ch Supt Travis said.
“I am sure someone will recognise them and I would urge anyone with information to contact us as a matter of urgency.
“The incident will rightly shock the local community and I would like to reassure local people that we are carrying out a thorough investigation to identify those responsible.”
The motive for the attack was “unclear”, police said. Officers said they were working to determine what the substance involved was and exactly what happened.
The 39-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, and remains in police custody.
The deputy leader of Worcester City Council, Adrian Gregson, said he was in the shop next to Home Bargains shortly after the attack.
“It is the first time, as far as I’m aware, this has happened in Worcester,” he said.
Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, described the incident as “horrific”.
He said: “The shock will be universal. Anyone conducting such an attack on a small child is just appalling.
“It’s an issue which rightly there has been a lot of concern in Parliament and a move to toughen sentences for any kind of acid attack.
“But particularly the nature of this being a small child is very concerning indeed.
“At this stage the key thing is for the police to act quickly and see if they can track down the perpetrator and understand what’s behind it, because it is an unthinkable thing to happen.”