Londonderry mother thought shooting-victim son was dead

The scene of Monday night's shooting in the  Brandywell area
The scene of Monday night's shooting in the Brandywell area

The mother of a 23-year-old man shot in Londonderry on Monday night has said she thought he was dead.

Jonathan Simpson was shot twice in each leg and has sustained what police have described as potentially “life-changing” injuries.

He is being treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

His mother, Louise Simpson, said she had received a phone call to tell her her son had been targeted.

“They shot him in the living room and dragged him into the hall and then outside the front door. I can’t even explain it,” she said.

“How can anybody do that to another person? They have no conscience. He was in a lot of pain. I thought he was dead.”

She said she knew her son had been taking drugs.

“He was taking drugs and I was giving him money for drugs. He was not selling drugs,” she added.

She said that her son had received threats in the past but that she did not know who was behind them.

Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan described the attack as “particularly savage”.

He added: “Early indications are that this man has sustained particularly severe wounds with potentially life-changing injuries.

“This was not what some people call a kneecapping. This young man has sustained gunshot wounds to his thigh bones.

“There can be little doubt that these injuries could have killed. There have been other incidents in which fatalities have occurred in similar circumstances.”

Police said the gunmen made their getaway on foot and have appealed for information on the assailants’ movements before and after the attack.

Sinn Fein councillor Kevin Campbell said: “The people of this city do not want these actions taking place on our streets and those behind them need to stop.”