A Londonderry mother has spoken of her distress after she was forced to bring her son to paramilitaries and wait as they shot him.
The woman said that she was ordered to take the 18-year-old to a laneway in the Creggan area of the city where she waited and listened helplessly as he was shot in both legs.
The vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) is being blamed for the punishment-style attack on Thursday.
It is believed that the teen was targeted by the terror group because he had been dealing in drugs.
Recalling her son’s horrific ordeal, the mother said she had no choice but to agree to the group’s demands when they told her to bring him to Rinmore Drive.
“He walked down the lane and I stood at the top and I heard two shots,” she said in a television interview. “I ran down and there was blood coming from his legs and I said ‘Are you all right son', and he said ‘I am grand mammy'.”
The woman, who does not wish the family to be identified, said she did “what had to be done”.
“I am glad it is over. He was dealing drugs to feed his habit. He is sore but otherwise he is okay,” she added.
The woman said she hopes her son will get the help he needs to get him off drugs for good.
“I was losing my son through drugs, but I hope he will get the help he needs.”
The teenager was treated at Altnagelvin Hospital for his injuries and has since been discharged.
The young victim was shot just two days ahead of a major opposition rally to be held in Derry’s Guildhall Square today to express public concern over RAAD’s increasing vigilante activity.
The terror group has been behind a number of shootings and death threats.
It is also being blamed for the murder of Derry man Andrew Allen (24) in Buncrana. Organisers of the rally said the shooting was timed to show contempt for the anti-RAAD rally and the people of the city.
Davy McCauley from RAAD — Not In Our Name, said he is convinced that the shooting was in time to ‘throw two fingers up’ to today's rally.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the timing of the shooting of this young man was a cynical move by RAAD to show utter contempt for the rally and to the people of Derry,” he said.
“They have set themselves up as so called protectors of the community, but the reality is they are bullies and thugs who will shoot anyone they deem to be a target.
“But they cannot shoot the whole of Derry which is why it is vital that people turn out in large numbers for this rally.”
District Commander of Foyle, Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin, said the local community was being brutalised by RAAD.
He said: “This is being carried out by a criminal gang who set themselves up unlawfully as judge, jury and administers of summary punishment.
“They have brutalised members of their community and inflicted terrible injuries, much of those on young people over the last number of years... this year we have seen their thirst for power go further when they claimed responsibility for murder.
“They seek to intimidate and bully... and its time they listened to the community, stop what they are doing and disband.”