Gun attack: Young people at party were lucky not to have been killed, says councillor

A gun attack at a house in Co Tyrone where young people were having a party has left the community “shocked and angry”, a local councillor has said.

Sunday, 10th March 2019, 1:34 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th March 2019, 1:45 pm
The scene at Loughview Gardens in Coalisland where a number of shots were fired at a house in the early hours of Sunday morning. A number of people, including children, were in the property at the time but escaped uninjured. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Police are treating the terrifying incident in Coalisland early this morning as attempted murder.

Detectives say a number of shots were fired through windows at the front of the house in the Loughview Gardens area of the town at around 12:20am.

A number of people, including children, were in the property at the time of the shooting, but luckily no one was injured.

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Shots were fired through the front window of the house at Loughview Gardens in Coalisland. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Local SDLP councillor Malachy Quinn said there was a 21st birthday party going on in the house at the time of the attack.

“I know the parents of some of the young people who were in the house at the time, and from talking to them it seems a couple of the young people were in the front room just seconds before the shots were fired through the window, so it is very, very lucky that no one was killed,” he told the News Letter.

“I have no idea who was behind this attack or what their motive was, but the local community is very, very shocked by what has happened and people are very angry that people’s lives have been put at risk in this way.”

Detective Inspector Trevor Stevenson said: “At around 00:20am it was reported that a number of shots had been fired at a house in Loughview Gardens, striking the front door, smashing windows and damaging a television set in the living room.

“Fortunately, there was no one in the hall or living room areas at the time, and no one was injured.

“We are working to establish a motive for this appalling attack, which we are treating as attempted murder.”

He continued: “Everyone has a right to live in a safe and stable community and this type of senseless and reckless criminality will not be tolerated.

“The occupants of the house were at the back of their property when this attack was carried out. It is understood a number of people, including children, were in the kitchen at the rear of the house when the gunmen struck.

“Thankfully, we are not dealing with any serious injuries, or worse today.

“I want to reassure the community we are taking what happened this morning very seriously and I am appealing to anyone with information to please get in touch with us.

“In particular, I want to appeal to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area, or any cars being driven in a suspicious manner to call detectives in Cookstown on 101 quoting reference number 35 of 10/03/19.”

Alternatively, information can also be passed on anonymously by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.