A Derry mother who accompanied her 18 year old son to be shot by ‘appointment’ has said; “I hope he listens now.”
The 18 year old was shot by vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs in a laneway between Creggan Heights and Rinmore Drive at approximately 10pm on Thursday evening.
The family who live in Rosemount, but who do not wish to be identified, spoke to The Sunday Journal as they attempted to come to terms with the shooting. The teenager was shot once in each leg, a bullet is still lodged behind his right knee cap. Doctors fear that surgery may prove too invasive to remove it.
The mother revealed that; “Word was sent to the house on Thursday evening to bring him to the laneway in Creggan. I wasn’t going to let him go alone so we went up together.
“I waited at the top of the laneway and he walked down.
“A few minutes passed then I heard two gunshots.”
Asked why she did not contact the PSNI after receiving the threat, the mother said only: “We hold staunch republican views.” She also revealed that she feared for the safety of her other children: “I couldn’t have them (RAAD) coming to the house to attack him as I have other young children to protect.
“I need to get help for him, I know he needs help rehabilitating himself, I never thought the problem of drugs or my son being involved in anti-social behaviour would come to my door. I am completely drained with this.”
The mother then revealed: “This whole thing has been hanging over us for a few months now.
“In fact drugs have wrecked him and this family.
“My sons are ruined on drugs.
“The drugs have completely changed his personality. It is just like he became a different person.
“He was talking to things that weren’t there, jumping at shadows, he was paranoid, anxious, he wasn’t sleeping and then he was taking drugs to help him sleep.
“I need to get him help but he swore today that that is the end of him and drugs. I just hope he listens now.”
Rather than being angry at those who maimed her son, the victims mother said she was angry at the lack of action against.
“These big drug companies who are producing these mind-altering substances and selling them as plant food or bath salts when everyone knows their real use.
“Why is no one taking action against these companies?
“It should be they who face the consequences not an 18 year old young fella.”
Though she had to attend her own sons ‘punishment shooting’ the woman believes; “It could have been worse. I honestly feared that he was going to be found dead having overdosed in a flat somewhere.
“The problem is that they party for days at a time.
“They take that much of this stuff and they forget to drink water, so they have a heart attack or fall down dead. I also believe that it was better he is shot in the legs now, than shot in the head further down the line.”
The mother said that she was very grateful to all those who helped them on Thursday night, namely the residents of Rinmore and the medical teams who treated her son: “The people of Creggan were brilliant to us. After calling an ambulance, they brought out coats, gave us water, they were really helpful they made my son comfortable as he slipped into shock.
“The ambulance crew and medical staff at Altnagelvin were fantastic. I don’t think I could thank them enough.”
Detectives investigating the shooting have appealed for witnesses to come forward to Police.
A spokesperson stated: “Anyone who was in the area of Baldrick Crescent and Rinmore Drive between the hours of 9pm and 10.30pm or anyone with any information about the incident should contact Detectives at Strand Road station on 0845 600 8000 or call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.”