Three people were arrested today following a gun attack on a Belfast house which left a 12-year-old girl and a middle-aged woman badly shocked.
The trio — a man aged 20, a 19-year-old and a 17-year-old — were being questioned at the PSNI Serious Crime Suite in Antrim about the attack in the Suffolk Road area in the west of the city last night.
According to a spokeswoman for the PSNI, a black Audi pulled up outside the house and one of a number of male occupants got out and fired shots at the living-room window before jumping back in the car which sped off.
A 60-year-man, 55-year-old woman and the girl were in the house at the time. They were uninjured in the attack.
However the two females needed hospital treatment for severe shock.
The Audi was found burned out a short distance away in the Glenside Road area soon afterwards.
Police investigating a motive for the attack appealed for anyone who saw the shooting or saw the car being abandoned and torched to contact them.
The PSNI spokeswoman said she could not comment on claims that the shooting was connected to the travelling community.
Sinn Fein councillor for the area Paul Maskey said it was fortunate that no-one had been killed in the shooting.
“What I’m hearing is that the shooting was related to the travelling community,” he said.
“We are very lucky that no-one was seriously injured or killed in this attack, as there were a number of people in the house at the time, including a 12-year-old girl.
“I hope the family recover soon from the shock of this terrible incident and I would urge anyone with information to come forward to the PSNI to ensure these people are taken off the streets.”
SDLP councillor Tim Attwood also condemned the attack and called for the guns to be removed from the streets.
He said it must have been a very frightening experience for those involved even though they were not injured, they were still badly shocked, as was the entire local community.