Belfast Telegraph

RAAD claims responsibility for Strabane shooting

By Brendan McDaid

Republican Action Against Drugs has claimed responsibility for the vicious attack on a man in front of his terrified girlfriend and baby daughter in Strabane.

The victim is now recovering in hospital after being badly beaten and shot in the knee.

The incident has caused shockwaves in the Carlton Drive area of the Ballycolman estate in Strabane where the couple live.

Shortly before 10.30pm on Tuesday, four men wearing masks entered the house and shot the 26-year-old in the leg.

Sources said that when they entered the house the man’s girlfriend screamed at the gang that that there was a baby in the house but was told: “You and the baby get the f*** out of here.”

They then dragged the man to the ground and began beating him with an iron bar before shooting him in the knee.

The victim sustained injuries to his elbow when he tried to protect his face and has a suspected broken nose. He was taken to hospital for treatment but it is understood his injuries are not life-threatening.

The woman and child were not injured but are believed to have been left traumatised as a result of being forced to witness the shooting.

The gang wore plastic coverings on their feet and arms and had sealed the face masks with tape to prevent evidence being left at the scene.

It is believed they fled in a small red hatchback car which was found burnt out on Prospect Road shortly after 1am.

Chairman of the Carlton Drive Residents’ Group, Andy Gallagher, said everyone in the area was stunned and angry at what had happened.

He said: “People in the area have described those behind this attack as having the IQ of goldfish, and I agree. They are just going round and round in circles.

“This is not the first incident of this nature to happen here.

“The type of people they are targeting are young people in working class areas, council estates, who have nothing, and local people are left wondering, who is next.

“There is a myth that they are targeting big drug dealers in big houses with flash cars and that is a nonsense — the evidence is there to show that.

“They are shooting young people without any proof.”

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