Shooting in Derry: ‘No place for guns or gangs of masked men’

Sinn Fein Councillor Eric McGinley pictured in the Ballymagroarty area.
Sinn Fein Councillor Eric McGinley pictured in the Ballymagroarty area.

A brutal punishment style-shooting in a Derry housing estate has been branded “utterly appalling”.

Police and local representatives have expressed condemnation of the attack in the Ballymagroarty area of the city on Wednesday evening.

Police were alerted shortly after 8:15pm that a man, aged in his 30s, had been shot in the legs in the Gogarty Close area.

It is understood the victim was shot in one leg but the bullet travelled through his other leg as well.

It has since transpired that a gang of up to eight masked and armed men had been witnessed “roaming the streets” of the area at the time, police have said.

The man was taken from the scene to hospital.

Sinn Féin Councillor for the area Eric McGinley said: “Such attacks are wrong and I condemn it.

“There can be no place for the use of guns or gangs of masked men on the streets of our city.

“All of this is in stark contrast to the good work that is going on in this community.

“I would call on anyone with information on this shooting incident to bring it forward to the PSNI.”

PSNI Inspector Vince Redmond meanwhile said the attack bore “the hallmarks of a paramilitary attack”. “This was a vicious and brutal shooting in early evening when families were going about their business.

“The very fact that these gunmen thought it was acceptable to recklessly shoot this man in a built-up area where children and teenagers could be passing by shows the contempt they have for people in their community. The bullets could have strayed at any moment and hit someone passing by.

“This is utterly appalling and needs to stop.

“Anyone who witnessed this masked and armed gang of up to eight men who roamed the streets in the early evening would have been absolutely petrified, including the victim himself. This is not what we want in our communities.

“There is absolutely no justification for an attack like this in our communities, and we must all work together to bring those responsible to justice and to stop this from happening to anyone else.

“If you saw anything tonight, or if you know anything about this incident which could assist us with our investigation please pick up the phone and call detectives at Strand Road on 101 and quote reference number 1286 14/11/18.”

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.