Is Mid Ulster in the grip of a gang war after 5 shootings?

Results of a gun attack on a home in Cookstown. Police are treating it as a murder attempt
Results of a gun attack on a home in Cookstown. Police are treating it as a murder attempt

Police are discounting no lines of enquiry in relation to the spate of shootings that have gripped Mid Ulster over the last few months.

There have been five separate gun attacks in the district since the beginning of March and despite each of them appearing to involve a shotgun, police say so far there is nothing to suggest the incidents are linked.

Gunshot damage to the front door of home on Tullyveagh Road

Gunshot damage to the front door of home on Tullyveagh Road

Last week a Cookstown man was victim to the third gun-attack in town, when two shots were fired at his front window and door in what police are investigating as an attempted murder.

The victim, a 45-year-old man, told the Mail he was asleep on the couch in his front room when a shot through the window showered him with glass at around 2.45am on May 17.

“If anybody had have been sitting in that seat they could have been badly hurt or I could have been killed.”

Now he said his “nerves are away with it” and he will have to move out of his home for fear of further attacks.

The 45-year-old resident was asleep in the living room when a shot was fired through this window. Police are treating the attack in Tullyveagh Road as 'attempted murder'

The 45-year-old resident was asleep in the living room when a shot was fired through this window. Police are treating the attack in Tullyveagh Road as 'attempted murder'

On March 9 another middle-aged man was about to sit down to a beer in his living room when a shot pierced the front window of his Stewart Avenue home at around 11.15pm on March 9.

Just a few days later, a 33-year-old man was shot in the foot in the Queens Avenue area of town. He was treated in hospital for his injuries, and although a 57-year-old man was arrested, he was released in relation to the March 12 incident.

Meanwhile, in Tobermore, a man escaped injury when two shots were fired at a house in Hillmount Park just after midnight on April 28.

And in what is thought to be a linked attack locally, a house in the Upperlands area was then targeted on Friday. April 29.

Bullet hole in window of Stewart Avenue home in Cookstown

Bullet hole in window of Stewart Avenue home in Cookstown

Although unoccupied at the time, two shots were also fired at the home on Drumlane Road in Tamlaght.

Speaking about the onslaught of gun-attacks Detective Inspector Will Tate said: “There is currently no information to suggest that all of these incidents are linked at this stage, however enquiries are ongoing and no lines of enquiry are being discounted at present.

“We would continue to appeal for information. Anyone who can help is asked to call the 101 number. Alternatively information about crime can be passed via Crimestoppers.”

Mid Ulster councillor Trevor Wilson has condemned the strikes, saying there is no place in Mid Ulster for such violence.

He too has urged anyone with information about any of the shootings to go to police.

“These incidents have no place in society,” he said.