A “particularly barbaric” paramilitary-style shooting near Ballymoney during which a teenager was shot in the arms and legs shows “the real and brutal face of paramilitarism”, a local MLA has said.
North Antrim TUV representative Jim Allister spoke out after an 18-year-old man was shot four times at a house in the Moneycannon Road area – between Ballymoney and Finvoy – at around 3.30am on Sunday.
Condemning the attack, Mr Allister said: “What we saw in last night’s vicious attack in Ballymoney was the real and brutal face of paramilitarism. Paramilitaries who think and act above the law must be brought to book for such excesses. There should be no room in our society for self-appointed enforcers and their weapons of death and destruction.
“I urge anyone with relevant information to provide it to the PSNI.”
Ballymoney councillor Darryl Wilson also condemned the attack, describing it as “particularly barbaric”.
“The Moneycannon Road area is a quiet, close-knit, rural community and this has shocked people.
“They have woken up on a Sunday morning to news of this particularly barbaric shooting and it has left the community in a state of shock.”
The UUP councillor added: “If you were in the area or noticed any suspicious activity please contact the PSNI.”
Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan claimed the attack “was quite clearly carried out by loyalist paramilitaries” and said there could be “no justification” for it.
“This is just the latest of many attacks, resulting in death and serious injuries, close to Ballymoney, carried out by loyalists. There needs to be firm action by the PSNI to halt these attacks and bring those responsible to justice,” he said.
The shooting was also condemned by SDLP and Alliance representatives, who called for such attacks to end.
The victim of the shooting was taken to the Causeway Hospital for treatment for injuries which police said “are not thought to be life threatening”.
The News Letter asked for an update on the young man’s condition on Sunday afternoon, but was told by the Northern Health Trust that it was unable to provide one as they hadn’t been given consent for the information to be released to the media.
Appealing for witnesses to come forward, Inspector Vince Redmond said the teenager had been shot once in each of his arms and legs by “unknown intruders”.
“Our inquiries are at a very early stage into what was a brutal attack on a young man in his home by dangerous and violent individuals, and I would ask anyone with any information which could assist us to apprehend those responsible to contact detectives at Coleraine on 101 quoting reference number 324 23/09/18,” he said.
Information can also be passed on anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.