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Gun attack on cancer survivor


A STRABANE man who was subjected to a terrifying gun attack at his  home last week has no idea why he was targeted.

The man who is in poor health since surviving cancer was left deeply  shocked and distressed by the incident.

Detailing the sinister series of events councillor Karina Carlin  explained that the man was watching TV in his lower Melmount Road  
residence when a knock came to his door shortly after 9pm on Sunday September 23.

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“When he opened the door there was a person with his face covered with  a heavy hood held with his left hand across his face so that it was  
barely visible.

“He then saw the stranger’s right arm move up and realised that he was  pointing a gun at him. The man immediately panicked and slapped at the  gunman’s right hand holding the gun. As he did so, the gun went off  and struck the man’s front door panel,” the Sinn Féin representative  explained.

“He managed to slam his front door shut and stayed inside the hallway  hoping the gunman would go away. Eventually he opened his door to  check and by then the gunman had disappeared. At first the man  wondered was this some kind of bizarre prank, but later realised the  
bullet hole in his door meant it was for real.”

Cllr Carlin has condemned the attack and called on those involved to  take responsibility for their actions.

“The individual or group responsible for this reckless and terrifying  behaviour need to explain themselves not only to the victim and his  
family, but also to the wider community who must be free from these  incidents,” she said.

“This man has no knowledge of who or why this has happened to him and  he and his family are deeply shocked and distressed.  He has had to  seek medical support as this has had a deep effect upon him. His  health has been poor since surviving from cancer in 2011 and this is a  
major setback for him.”

A security operation was mounted by the PSNI in the town following the  incident. Detectives are appealing for witnesses and are looking for a male  described as being 5ft 10 inches height, slim build and aged in his  mid 20s to 30s. He is believed to have been wearing a parka style  
jacket with a fur hood at the time of the incident.

Detective Constable St Ledger said, “At around 9pm, it was reported  that a shot had been fired at a property by an unknown male in the  
area. It was reported the male approached the front door and was  carrying a white plastic bag with a suspected firearm inside. The male  
is believed to have knocked the front door and when the door was  opened by a male occupant, a shot was fired from the plastic bag.

“Damage was caused to the front door of the property as a result of  the incident. The male occupant inside the house at the time of the  
incident was not injured. The male is believed to have made off on  foot towards the St Mary’s Drive area following the incident.”  

Enquiries are continuing and police would appeal to anyone with any  information to contact detectives on 101 quoting reference number 1293  23/9/18. Alternatively, information can also be provided to  Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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