Northern Ireland news

Petrol bombs thrown at police following Bogside shooting

The victim was taken to Altnagelvin hospital by ambulance. Picture by Facebook
Seamus McKinney

SEVERAL petrol bombs and a firework were thrown at police who responded to a paramilitary-style shooting in Derry's Bogside.

Police were called to the scene at Meenan Square shortly after 10.30pm on Tuesday following reports that a man aged in his twenties had been shot. A police spokesman said the victim was alerted to banging on the front door of his flat.

“The man was then confronted by three to four masked individuals who had made their way inside the property where he was shot in both legs and subsequently taken to hospital for treatment of his injuries.

“When police responded to the incident, a small crowd attacked officers by throwing a firework and a number of petrol bombs,” the spokesman said.

Describing the attack as “completely reckless”, the spokesman said those responsible believed it was acceptable to shoot in a built-up area, showing their contempt for local people.

“The bullets could have strayed at any moment and hit someone passing by or struck another property. It is utterly appalling,” the spokesman said.

The attack, the first of its kind in Derry since early January, was widely condemned. SDLP leader and Foyle MP Colum Eastwood described the shooting as an “act of barbarism”.

Mr Eastwood said: “The community doesn't want guns on the streets or those who are wielding them. These people need to get off our backs and go away for good.”

Sinn Féin assembly member Karen Mullan also condemned the attack.

“This is not what the people of this area want or need and those responsible must stop,” Ms Mullan said.

Chairman of Derry's policing partnership, SDLP councillor Martin Reilly said people were shocked and disgusted.

“The shooting of this young man stands in stark contrast to the great community spirit shown by the people of this area during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” Mr Reilly said.

Independent councillor Sean Carr, who lives close to the scene of the attack, said people would not accept any return to the use of guns.

Mr Carr said: “These kinds of attacks have never solved anything. The people of Derry have led the way in removing guns from the streets and they won't accept any return.”

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