Derry paramilitary victim dragged himself through the streets after being shot
A man shot three times in both legs who had to drag himself across streets to get help could be left with life changing injuries, a police chief in Londonderry has said.
It is understood that dissident republicans carried out the attack on the man, who was shot in the Brookdale Park area of the Galliagh estate.
Despite his horrific injuries he made his way to Leafair Gardens where he received assistance.
The man was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital but was later transferred to Belfast where his condition has been described as stable.
This is the fifth time someone has been shot by paramilitaries in Derry so far this year, a number equal to all of 2018.
Chief Inspector Bob Blemmings described the attack on the man in his 30s on Wednesday evening as "vicious and brutal" and lambasted dissident republicans for the grip they try to exert over local communities.
He said despite this threat, the PSNI has support in areas where paramilitary attacks are happening.
Chief Inspector Blemmings said: "This was a vicious and brutal shooting and this man is still very unwell. He is still receiving treatment but he had to drag himself across an area to try and get help.
"It is horrifying that he had to do that. He called to two different houses until he was able to alert someone and the ambulance was called.
"The consequences are a man has been shot three times in the legs and the outcome is he has suffered very serious and potentially life changing injuries - but it could have been so much more worse because he was just left there."
The Chief Inspector said despite dissident republican threats about co-operating with the police, people in Derry are engaging with the PSNI.
He continued: "We are working with communities to try and show them that police are there to protect them.
"We are extending our neighbourhood teams to be able to allow a greater footprint of officers and we are carrying out briefings all the time to show people we are an effective organisation.
"They (paramilitaries) are making people live in fear because they are trying to flex their muscles and have coercive control over the communities.
"It is just not right and we need to put a stop to it.
"The message that these people say of, 'Don't talk to the police' isn't being listened to.
"People that we engage with want to assist the police with their enquiries. We are not going to stop, we are going to push back as much as we can and we are going to engage with the community to protect them.
"We are not going to let go of these investigations, these investigations are a priority for our organisation and we will do everything we can to bring these offenders to justice."
The attack was condemned by Sandra Duffy, chairwoman of the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership.
She said: "It is clear that the criminal gangs responsible for this type of brutal assault have absolutely no concern for people living here and their only wish is to try to exert some sort of coercive control over these areas.
"The only way we can stop these people is by helping the police."
SDLP councillor Brian Tierney added: "This savage attack and those behind it have no place in this city."