Terrified customers were forced to watch in horror as masked gunmen opened fire on a man in a bookmaker’s shop in Londonderry’s Bogside.
Two masked men armed with a shotgun entered the Ladbrokes business at Meenan Square shortly before 9pm yesterday.
A number of people in the bookies at the time were forced to lie on the floor as the gunmen singled out a 35-year-old man and shot him in both legs. It is believed he was shot three to four times.
The victim of the attack, who comes from the Bogside area, was later taken to Altnagelvin Hospital. Police said they did not believe his injuries were life-threatening.
Following the shooting, the man's attackers left the shop and ran to nearby Dove Gardens where they hi-jacked a silver-coloured Vauxhall Vectra.
The car was found on fire about a mile away in the Creggan Heights area a short time later.
Police said today that a motive for the attack remains under investigation.
SDLP Councillor John Tierney spoke with the man's family and those at the scene during the shooting last night.
He said today: “I spoke to some of the people who were there and others who were there
shortly afterwards and they described the place as being covered in blood, as if an artery had busted.
“It is shocking they had to see that, it is barbaric,” Mr Tierney added.
“I went and saw the parents of this man and the mother was very, very distressed and in a terrible state.
“At one stage we thought we were going to have to get a doctor for her. Her husband was at the hospital and was able to talk to his son.”
Mr Tierney said he believed those responsible were from the same group behind the fatal shooting of pizza delivery man Emmett Shields in the Creggan area of the city in June this year.
He said: “A number of people I have spoken to around the time it happened were all shocked and all of them condemned the incident.
“There is no support for this in the community. I described it as barbaric and those that were there agreed with me.”
Sinn Fein councillor for the Bogside area Maeve McLaughlin added: “This absolutely and totally must be condemned. This type of incident has no place in any community and it is not the resolution for community issue or ciriminality.”
A PSNI spokeswoman appealed for anyone who saw the men hijacking the car or witnessed it being abandoned in Creggan to contact detectives on 0845 6008000 or Crimsetoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.