A local clergyman says people in the north Antrim village of Dunloy hope a masked gunman who burst into a house and terrified a woman and her daughter is quickly caught.
The balaclava-clad intruder threatened the woman in her Hillside Drive home and she only escaped harm after barricading herself and her 18-year-old daughter into an upstairs bedroom until police arrived.
Dunloy parish priest Fr Liam Blayney said the incident had caused shock.
He said such crime was very rare in the area and said it raised the issue of how secure people can be in their homes.
He added: "It is frightening when a masked man presents himself to vulnerable people in particular, or to anyone.
"I would hope nothing else happens.
"The chapel is just across the road from Hillside Drive and the GAA club is just opposite, so it is an area in the centre of the village with a lot of movement of people."
The terrifying incident happened at 10.30am on Monday but police only released details yesterday. They have appealed for information.
Detective Constable Marty McCaw said: "Shortly before 10.30am police received a report that a masked man armed with a handgun entered through the back door of a house in the Hillside Drive area and threatened the female occupant with a gun.
"She managed to run to a bedroom where she barricaded herself and her daughter in until police arrived. We are making every effort to identify the man with the gun.
"He is around 5ft 7in tall and of stocky build with a local accent. He was wearing a black sweat top, dark or blue bottoms and a woollen mask."
Hillside Drive is a quiet residential area.
Yesterday neighbours were stunned that a gunman had been in their midst.
There was no response at the family home targeted. A child's toy was in the front garden.
One neighbour said: "They were not harmed but they were badly shaken, obviously.
"I don't know what happened and we don't know why a gunman went to the house or if it was a burglary or whatever, but the quicker this person is caught the better, as I would fear this could happen again."
Another resident said: "We are all shocked this has happened as it is quiet here and the fact that it was so early on a Monday morning in daylight is concerning.
"Our thoughts go out to those involved."