Creggan Hill children 'traumatised' after gunmen threat

Creggan Hill, Derry
Image caption The shooting happened in a house on Creggan Hill in Derry

The parents of children who were confronted by masked men during a shooting in Londonderry say they have been left traumatised.

A 22-year-old man was shot in both legs in a paramilitary-style attack in a house in Creggan Hill on Sunday.

It's believed he was shot in both ankles, but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

The mother of one boy playing nearby said one of the gunmen threatened to shoot him.

She said: "The wee ones were all out in the street, and two men in masks came out from the laneway and one of the wee boys said, 'Are you a robber'?

"He said the man in the balaclava replied 'Aye, get out of my way or I'll kill you', and then they ran off round the backs of the houses."

Another mother said her daughter was terrified.

"She thought they were kidnappers so she ran in and stayed in the house, she was afraid to go out," she added.

A neighbour with a new baby said she was so frightened, she spent the night with her mother-in-law.

"I was too afraid to stay with all the commotion that was going on," they said.

"I'm very shocked this happened so close to where I live."

SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey said the Derry community was set against violence.

"This is a despicable act that has left the community of the Creggan Hill area in fear.

"There is absolutely no place for guns, punishment shootings or kangaroo courts in our society. I totally condemn this brutal attack."

'Covered in blood'

Neighbours on Creggan Hill said they saw "a lot of blood" on the ground.

"As he was being put into the ambulance he was covered in blood," one said.

"He had his hands over his head and he was awake, so he seemed ok, I just hope to God he is."

Community worker Tommy McCourt said he condemned the shooting unreservedly.

"We do not believe in and do not support violence as a way of dealing with social issues," he said.

"This should not be happening, and something needs to be put in place to stop this happening.

"Engagement is what has removed violence, and we need to engage with people to stop this happening."