Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Motive behind gun attack remains unclear

Police are still working to establish a motive behind a shooting incident in Newry in which number of shots were fired at a house in Barcroft Park.

Four adults who were in the house at the time escaped uninjured but are reported to be “extremely shaken”.

The incident occurred around 11.45pm on Wednesday in First Street in the estate when “a volley of shots” shattered the front window of the property.  Detectives investigating say they believe an automatic weapon was used in the attack.

Local community worker Ewan Morgan said those who carried out the “cowardly attack” have “total disregard for anyone living in the vicinity”.  He said members of the Barcroft Community Association were quickly on the scene to provide support and comfort and he praised the police response as “prompt and calm”.

Mr Morgan, who is an independent member of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and works with Community Restorative Justice (CRJ) said the organization is compiling “a procedural file” on the incident for presentation at a ‘Policing within the Community” meeting later this week.  

Encouraging anyone affected by the attack to contact CRJ on 028 3026 6337, he added: “If anyone has relevant information and are reluctant to go directly to police, they can pass this on through our office.

SDLP councillor Michael Savage branded those behind the attack responsible as reckless with no regard for the lives of the people of Newry.

“Whatever the motivation for this attack, I condemn it in the strongest possible terms.  We could very easily be dealing with a murder this morning,” he said. 

“There are young families and elderly residents living in this street and they could have been caught up in this. My thoughts are with the victims of the attack who are very badly shaken by what happened.

“The people of Barcroft have worked very hard to build community spirit in recent times and there is a real sense of togetherness in the area and this incident is no reflection on life in Barcroft.  This was a senseless and mindless attack that has no place on the streets of Barcroft or indeed our city.”

His party colleague Justin McNulty MLA said such reckless attacks “are wholly unjustified” with no place in society.

“It is a miracle that the four adults in the house escaped injury.  The people of Barcroft Park are shocked by this incident and deeply concerned this has happened in their community.  Those responsible must be taken off our streets,” he said, and appealed for anyone with information to contact police.