Belfast Telegraph

'Merciless' shooting of Derry man at home was attempted murder

The house in Londonderry where a man was shot
The house in Londonderry where a man was shot
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

Police are treating a gun attack on a man in his 30s in the Waterside area of Londonderry as attempted murder.

The shooting, which took place shortly before 9pm on Tuesday, is not understood to be linked to paramilitaries.

The incident has sparked condemnation across the political spectrum.

Two masked and armed men forced their way into a family home in Margaret Street and shot a man in his 30s in the foot as he attempted to flee the property.

Detective Inspector Michael Winters described the attack as "merciless".

He said: "Two men, aged 30 and 58, were in their home in Margaret Street when two masked man entered the property at around 8.45pm.

"One of the masked men, armed with what has been described as a handgun, shot at the man aged in his 50s who was in the kitchen. Fortunately he wasn't physically injured.

"However, as the 30-year-old occupant attempted to flee, he was shot at and sustained an injury to his foot, for which he is receiving medical treatment for in hospital.

"Both suspects then fled, possibly in a car."

Five people in total were inside the house at the time and were able to provide police with a description of the gunmen.

Mr Winters added: "The gunman is described as being of medium to heavy build, and had his face covered. The second suspect is described as being of a thinner build.

"We are working to establish a motive for what was a merciless attack.

"There is absolutely no justification for this type of brutality, and it is only by sheer luck that we are not dealing with a tragic situation today.

"There were three other occupants in the house at the time of the attack, a woman and two other males, and they have all been left extremely shaken by what took place in their home, somewhere they rightly deserve to feel safe."

This is the third time in recent weeks someone has been shot in Derry.

Dissident republicans have been blamed for shooting two men in separate incidents in the Galliagh area two weeks ago.

Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton said he will raise the increase in gun attacks in the city at the next Policing Board meeting.

"The worry about the frequency of these gun attacks is that people will become immune to them happening and think it is the norm, but in order for the police to get the guns off the streets they need the local community to give them information," he said.

"I understand the fear that this poses but there are avenues open to people who want to help the police but want to protect their own identity."

Philip McKinney, Alliance councillor for the Waterside, said: "There is disgust right across the city at the news guns have once again been brought onto our streets, particularly in a residential area. There is no excuse for this kind of act and I utterly condemn it."

SDLP councillor Martin Reilly added: "Margaret Street is adjacent to a children's play park and is a built up terraced street - so many people could have witnessed the two masked men. I would appeal to anyone with information on those responsible to get in touch with the PSNI."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the PSNI on 101.

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