Belfast Telegraph

Gunman fired shots at mother as she cradled baby son

By Claire Williamson

A mother has told how she feared for her and her infant son's life when a gunman pointed a weapon at them and pulled the trigger.

Carla Maguire (29) was coming down the stairs of her home in Ardoyne, north Belfast, on Wednesday night when she heard violent bangs at her door and the glass being broken in.

The mother-of-three began to scream and her partner Michael (29) rushed down the stairs to help while Carla phoned the police and went to get her 12-month-old son.

After waiting until she thought it was safe, she opened the door, but the gunman then appeared, walked up her path and pointed a weapon at her and her child.

With tears in here eyes, Ms Maguire recalled the chilling moment the man raised the firearm at her.

She told the Belfast Telegraph: "I opened the door with the baby in my arms and the next thing a man walked up to the gate, with no mask on, just a hood, and pointed a gun at us and shot it.

"My partner pushed me out of the way in to the kitchen.

"He locked the door quickly and we went in to the kitchen and he (the gunman) started shooting.

"The neighbours said he smashed the door, the car and walked down the street. They shouted, 'There are children in that house'. He must have heard the door open and came back up."

The couple's three children, aged one, five and 10, were left badly shaken.

Carla said: "They were saying to their grandma last night, 'Why is that man trying to kill us? Why us?'"

Ms Maguire suggested her family may have been targeted because of a drugs offence involving her partner in April. She said: "He did something silly and that was it.

"He has no criminal record. He's just a hard worker and a family man. He just did something stupid."

Donna and her family now planned to leave the area.

She said: "I'm not staying here. I couldn't sleep here.

"I thought we were going to die. When he shot at me and the child, I thought he was coming in to kill us all. I can't get it out of my head."

SDLP MLA Alban Maginness condemned the "reckless and barbaric" attack.

He said: "It's through sheer fortune rather than design that we are not dealing with an even worse tragedy this morning."

Sinn Fein councillor Gerry McCabe also slammed those responsible. He said: "This incident was unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms."

Background

Police received reports that a man called to the house at around 10pm. PSNI inspector Ian Lockyer said: "The occupant was fortunately not struck by any of the shots. The suspect then smashed the windscreen of a car parked at the property and made off on foot from Velsheda Court through an alleyway to Cranbrook Court, where it is believed he may have got into a white-coloured car seen to leave the area." The suspect was described as being around 5ft 4in tall and was said to be wearing a dark, hooded top with white drawstrings.

Belfast Telegraph

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