INLA say they shot father-of-three

A father-of-three shot in a gun attack in Derry's Waterside this week has branded INLA claims he's a drug dealer as "lies and absolute rubbish".

26 year-old Shaun Johnston was injured when the shots were fired through the front window of his house at Hollymount Park at 11 p.m. on Wednesday night.

In a call to the 'Journal' yesterday afternoon, the INLA claimed responsibility for the attack, accusing Mr. Johnston of involvement in the drugs' trade.

However, speaking to the 'Journal' from his hospital bed last night, the 26-year-old denied the INLA claims and branded those who shot him as "cowards".

"That is all lies - absolute rubbish," he said of the INLA allegations. "I've never been in trouble, I don't have any drug convictions. These guys are cowards. I'm only glad my children weren't at home at the time."

Mr. Johnston - a full-time carer who lives with his disabled mother - says he was playing computer games when he heard three "loud bangs".

"There was no warning given, they just shot through the living room window," he said. "There were three bangs and the glass smashed. I ran into the kitchen to hide, then up the stairs to phone the police."

It was only when the father-of-three reached the top of the stairs that he realised he had been shot in the leg.

"I didn't realise I'd been hit at first. I just ran," he said. "It was only when I got upstairs that I felt the blood running down my leg."

He underwent surgery yesterday to remove part of a bullet lodged in his left leg. However, he is expected to make a full recovery.

Another 22 year-old man who was also present in the house at the time was not injured.

Mr. Johnston's sister, Martina, said: "They have wrecked this house. Until we heard the INLA claim, we had no idea why or who targeted my brother.

"This was a no warning shooting. Thank God my mother or Shaun's three children weren't in the house at the time."

Detectives are investigating a motive for the shooting and are appealing for anyone who was in the Hollymount Park area late on Thursday and may have witnessed the attack.