Residents’ shock at shooting

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Residents from a Derry estate have spoken of their shock after shots were fired at a house with a couple and a girl at home.

One resident who knows the teenage girl warned that if she had opened the door and the gunman had been a “head case” he could have pulled the trigger and killed her.

The scene of the shooting.

The scene of the shooting.

A number of shots were fired through the living room window of the house at Whitethorn Drive in Currynierin at 10.45pm on Thursday night.

There was a heavy police presence at the scene today, with plain clothes officers going door-to-door with their enquiries.

Scenes of Crime Officers in white boiler suits and face masks meanwhile were yesterday combing the garden and a laneway opposite, both of which were sealed off today.

Marian Melarkey (61), who has lived in the street for eight years, said: “This is a quiet area, you wouldn’t expect this.

If that wee girl had opened the door, it could have been a headcase standing there and he could have pulled the trigger. He could have been a nut job and blew the wain away. She is a lovely wee cuddy,

“I was in Belfast all day and I came down on the 8.30pm bus. I was down here about around 10-10.15pm and then shortly after that I made a cup of tea, and I happened to look out the window place was covered in police.”

She added that she had heard large bangs and was informed by a neighbour about what had happened. John Gallagher (68), who has lived in the area for about 10 years added: “I never heard nothing but we don’t want this sort of activity in our area. This is a quiet area, there’s never no bother.”

A second woman said when she heard about the shooting her immediate reaction was one of panic.

“If that wee girl had opened the door, it could have been a head case standing there and he could have pulled the trigger. He could have been a nut job and blew the wain away.

“She is a lovely wee cuddy,” the woman said.

A PSNI spokesman said: “Detectives are appealing for witnesses following a shooting incident in the Whitethorn Drive area of Derry last night, Thursday 15 October.

“Shortly after 10.45pm it was reported that a number of shots had been fired through the window of a house in the area.

“The occupants, a couple and their young daughter, who were in the house at the time were not injured.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson condemned the incident.

Colr. Jackson said: “There can be no place for guns on the streets of our city.

“The people who carried out this attack need to explain to the local community the rationale for their actions.

“We are in a new era, we are creating a new society for the younger generation and the people of Derry just want these attacks to stop.

“I would appeal for anyone with any information on this attack to bring it forward to the PSNI straight away.”

Detectives are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information about the incident to contact Detectives in Strand Road on the non-emergency number 101. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.