The father of a Londonderry man shot in both legs by a republican vigilante group has revealed his son may lose all sensation in one of his feet.
Gary McGuinness (20), from Slievemore Park in the Greater Galliagh area of the city, was dragged from a sofa and shot twice in the garden of his family home on Sunday night.
He is now recovering in Altnagelvin Hospital following more than three hours of surgery on Monday to remove the bullets which smashed through bones in both lower legs and severed a nerve in his right leg.
Dissident group Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) — the group responsible for a wave of recent shootings in Derry — claimed responsibility.
Speaking at the family home last night, the family disputed the gunmen’s claims that Gary was involved in joyriding.
“He couldn’t even drive,” his father Harry said.
Recalling the shooting, he said: “I was up the stairs and I heard two bangs and I thought it was young ones throwing fireworks outside the front door.
“I came running down the stairs and he [Gary] was lying in the garden and he was saying that he was shot and that they had run off in the direction of Collon Lane.
“I ran back up and got my phone and phoned the ambulance.”
Mr McGuinness and Gary’s older brother, also named Harry, said neighbours alerted by the gunfire came out to help Gary until the paramedics arrived.
The family said that while Gary was shaken up by his ordeal, he had been speaking to them about it since he came out of surgery.
His brother Harry said: “He can’t understand why he got shot.
“He was saying ‘I didn’t do anything bad to deserve this’.
“The thing that is getting to us is he wasn’t ever warned — nobody ever came to give him a warning, nothing. They just came in and shot him and never gave him a chance.”
Harry McGuinness senior added: “There are people running around this town doing a lot more and still getting away with it.
“If they are going to go around and shoot everybody for anti-social behaviour I hope they have plenty of money to buy bullets, because they are going to be broke within a week.”
Mr McGuinness said Gary has been told he will be in a wheelchair for a time when he comes out of hospital.
He also asked RAAD to meet him to explain what they have done to his son.