Belfast Telegraph

Girls age 4 and 6 'seconds from being caught in Carrick gun attack', says grandfather

By Allan Preston

Two little girls aged four and six were seconds away from being caught in the direct line of a gun attack, their grandfather said.

Norman Haggan (72) was at his home on Woodburn Avenue in Carrickfergus on Wednesday night when he heard a loud bang.

His two granddaughters, who are cousins, were playing in the hallway just minutes before and by chance they had moved upstairs when the attack was made.

Thinking it was an electrical fault at first, Mr Haggan then saw bullet holes in his front door which had travelled though his hallway and through the glass of his backroom door.

Mr Haggan and his two daughters said they were furious the attackers recklessly endangered the lives of the two children.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: "Between nine and half nine I was on the sofa watching TV and all of a sudden there was a big bang. I thought it was an electric box, something had blew.

"I got up and checked everything, the electrics and couldn't find anything. Then I saw the bullet hole in the back door.

"As soon as I saw it I thought someone had fired a pistol. I came to check the front door and I knew it was a shotgun that did it.

"The grandchildren came down the stairs and they were crying.

"I phoned the police, they came out and we had to get out of the house while they got forensic in."

One neighbour told police afterwards she had seen two men wearing balaclavas in the area shortly before the attack.

Mr Haggan has lived in the area for over 40 years and said he has never had an argument with any of his neighbours.

"I haven't a clue why this happened, I haven't done anything to anyone before. The grandchildren were playing in the hall, then they went up to play with the toys in the bedroom.

"They just don't care who they hurt or injure, they're not worried. I would say to them, pack it in have a bit of bloody sense."

Sophie Hamilton (25), Mr Haggan's daughter and the mother of one of the young girls was visibly upset by the ordeal.

"I wasn't here, and if anything would have happened to my daughter I wasn't here for her," she said.

"When I actually think about it makes me very sad. I would say to the people who did this 'grow up'."

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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