Man and child escape ‘shotgun attack’ on home

The scene in the Westland area of north Belfast
The scene in the Westland area of north Belfast

A man and a child have escaped injury after shots, reportedly from a shotgun, were fired at a house in the Westland Way area of Belfast on Monday night.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Reid said: “At approximately 11.50pm the male occupant of a house heard two shots. On going to the front door of his house he noticed two strike marks.

“No one was injured during this incident.

“Police would ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who has any information to contact detectives at Tennent Street on the non-emergency number 101. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

There were two people in the house at the time of the incident – the male householder and a child.

North Belfast DUP councillor, Alderman Lydia Patterson, condemned what she described as a “shotgun attack” against the home.

The PSNI told her, she said, that the front door was peppered with two shotgun blasts.

“I am appalled to hear of this shotgun attack against a house in Westland estate and I condemn it without reservation,” she said.

“The PSNI are treating it as an act of intimidation but do not believe there was a sectarian motive. Whatever dispute lay behind this reckless attack this is entirely the wrong way to deal with such matters.

“Those responsible could not have been sure of the consequences of firing these blasts.

“Thankfully no-one was injured but it will have been deeply shocking not just for the man and child inside the house but also for their neighbours and the local community.

“I appeal for no escalation and no further incidents and urge anyone who can assist the police investigation into this criminal attack to bring that information forward.”

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly condemned those involved in the shooting.

“It’s no thanks to the attackers that no one was seriously injured in this cowardly attack,” he said.

“It would be a worrying development if, as many people fear, that this gun attack was carried out as a result of tensions between loyalist factions. There can be no place in our society for armed gangs and this type of activity should be brought to a halt.

“If anyone has any information on this reckless incident they should contact the PSNI. I would also appeal to political and community leaders in the loyalist community to work with police in a bid to ensure there are no more attacks like this.”