Shooting is ‘attempted murder’

Detective Chief Isp
Detective Chief Isp

Local councillors have condemned a shooting in Larne’s Ballystrudder Gardens area which is being treated as attempted murder by police.

According to police, two masked men, one armed with a hand gun, entered the house at around 9.30pm on Friday, November 21.

Detective Chief Inspector Catherine Magee stated: “Five shots were fired, breaking the front window of the house.

“Thankfully and luckily no one was injured as a result of the incident. However, we are treating this matter as an attempted murder.”

A black Volkswagen Golf car, which may have been used in the shooting, was found burned out in the Windsor Crescent area of Whitehead a short time later. The car had false number plates bearing the registration HJZ 9006.

DCI Magee continued: “I am appealing for information on two fronts. Firstly, if you were in the area of Ballystrudder Gardens on Friday evening and witnessed suspicious activity around the time of the shooting incident, please contact us.

“Secondly, if you are aware of the movements of the black Volkswagen Golf car in the days leading up to Friday November 21, or in the aftermath of the shooting incident, including as it was being driven to Carrickfergus and burned there, please contact us.”

Local councillors united in their condemnation of the attack.

Alliance Councillor John Mathews commented: “It is a very sad reflection on the society we live in that this violence is still going on. I condemn this act, it is absolutely appalling.

“Ballystrudder is a sought-after place to live with lovely people and I feel very sorry that this has happened to them.

“On the same evening that the Christmas lights were being switched on and we were celebrating the season of goodwill, this was happening. It’s ironic and sickening that when people are celebrating Christmas others are out with hate in their hearts.”

DUP Councillor Gregg McKeen stated: “I strongly condemn acts like this. There is a risk to people’s lives with this sort of activity. It’s very sad to see this happening and we don’t want it in the Islandmagee and Larne area. It’s a shock to the community and neighbours and it isn’t welcome.”

Mayor of Larne Martin Wilson commented: “As Mayor I condemn this, there is no justification for people taking law into their own hands. The people who are responsible for this need to catch themselves on. Things can be sorted out by sitting down and talking, not resorting to violence.

“It was such a wonderful night at the Christmas lights switch on for people who were getting into the Christmas spirit. I wholeheartedly condemn this attack.

“It is so far removed from the true meaning of Christmas and Christ’s message to love thy neighbour. Everyone in Larne and the local community thought that these types of incidents were in the past. We need to get to the stage where the gun is completely gone from our society.”

DUP Councillor Bobby McKee said that he was shocked and dismayed that such incidents continued to take place.

He added: “Most of us came through thirty years of troubles and we don’t want to continue with it. This is a small tight-knit community and people in Ballystrudder are closely linked. It’s an awful situation.”

MLA Stewart Dickson stated: “There can be no justification for this shooting. Those responsible are callous and cold-blooded individuals who have no regard for the consequences of their actions.

“This must have been a very frightening experience for the occupants of this house. I am just glad that no one was injured in this incident.”

All the elected representatives urged anyone with information to contact police.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on the non-emergency number 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.