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Paramilitary link to shooting that left Coleraine woman Sally Cummins in fight for life probed

Up to eight shots fired into house at midnight by gang injuring woman (61) and her son


Scene of a shooting at a house in Coleraine

Scene of a shooting at a house in Coleraine

Scene of a shooting at a house in Coleraine

Police have said that paramilitary involvement is a line of inquiry after the shooting of a 61-year-old woman in her Coleraine home on Monday night.

The injured woman, who has been named locally as Sally Cummins, was shot in the head, police confirmed yesterday.

Up to eight shots were fired into the front and rear of the property on the Bushmills Road shortly before midnight.

Ms Cummins remains in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where her condition was described as critical.

It is understood that Ms Cummins' son Russell, who also lives in the terraced house, was injured in the shotgun attack.

Police believe that three or four men were responsible for Monday's shooting and that there may have been two different types of weapons used.

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A number of shotgun shells were discovered at the scene.

Forensic officers were hunting for clues inside the house yesterday morning as the front downstairs window was smashed, along with the glass front door.

Bullets also damaged the two upstairs windows.

The same house was the scene of a tragic sudden death on Wednesday, September 2. Police and a Northern Ireland Ambulance Service crew attended the property after a young woman died suddenly.

Detective Chief Inspector Dunny McCubbin from the Criminal Investigations Branch explained that police are working to establish a motive for the "vile" attack and those behind it.

"Let's be clear; this is attempted murder and this local woman is now fighting for her life," said Mr McCubbin.

"Shortly before midnight police received reports of a number of shots being fired in this area and subsequently discovered a woman lying unconscious inside her Bushmills Road home - a place where she should have been safe.

"The gunmen fired multiple shots at the front and back of the house and at least one of these bullets struck the victim's head.

"They fired through numerous windows indiscriminately not knowing where the lethal bullets would end up.

"This clearly highlights the blatant disregard these criminal gangs have for their own community."

Appealing to those with information, Mr McCubbin added that he was keen to hear from anyone who saw a group of men wearing hooded tops and light coloured clothes.

The men had been witnessed running across Bushmills Road from a laneway leading from the Millburn estate. Three men were then seen walking and running up a lane behind the house.

Mr McCubbin also wanted to speak to anyone who saw a light, possibly grey, coloured saloon car with a dark sunroof in the vicinity.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Ian Magee told BBC Radio Foyle that paramilitary involvement is "just one line of inquiry" into the shooting.

Anyone who was in the area on Monday night and who noticed anything that could assist the investigation, or anyone with any other information is asked to contact CID in Coleraine by calling 101, quoting reference 2174 05/10/20.

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