A four-year-old child has escaped injury after gunmen opened fire on a house in Newry.
At least eight shots were fired through a window and door of the property in the Quayside Close area of the city last night.
A 34-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman were inside with the child when the house was sprayed with bullets. Miraculously all three escaped injury.
Shots were also fired into a nearby car.
Police said the gunmen drove into Quayside Close from the Omeath direction in a light coloured Renault and pulled up outside the house shortly before 10.30pm. The driver and passenger got out of the vehicle and fired a number of shots into a car and the window and door of the house. They then made off in the car in the direction of Omeath. It is believed a third person was also in the car.
A cross-border hunt for the gunmen has been launched and detectives are working to establish a motive for the attack.
Newry and Mourne MLA Danny Kennedy said it was a miracle that nobody had been killed or seriously injured in the gun attack.
“This was an alarming incident that could have resulted in three deaths. I am relieved that nobody was seriously injured but I am sure this was a terrifying experience for them and they are all probably still very frightened,” he said.
Mr Kennedy added: “I am very concerned by the number of very serious incidents in Newry over recent months. Luckily nobody has been killed but I will be speaking to the Police Commander to get assurances that everything in his power is being done to try and stop these types of incidents.”
SDLP councillor for Newry Frank Feely said: “This was a highly dangerous incident. These don’t appear to have been warning shots — it seems to
have been an attempt to kill or seriously injure. These gunmen need to be caught. They are dangerous people so anyone with information must go to the police before someone is seriously hurt.”
The area around the house was sealed of by police as forensic officers carried out their work. A number of officers remained in the area throughout the night.
Detectives have appealed to anyone who witnessed this incident or observed the car driving to or from Quayside Close to contact them on 0845 600 8000. Information can also be passed anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.