A shooting incident in Garvagh early on Sunday morning has been described as ‘like the wild west’ by the SDLP’s Assembly member for the area.
John Dallat said he had spoken to the PSNI and he welcomed the arrest of two individuals linked to the shooting who are currently being questioned at Musgrave Police Station, Belfast.
“This incident happened shortly after 3.00am when local residents woke to the sound of gunfire on the main street,” said Mr Dallat.
“One person, clearly trying to escape, collapsed and was pursued by a gunman who, according to an eyewitness, then kicked him and fled the scene.”
“This clearly was a very frightening incident and I am pleased the police have been quick to make arrests and hopefully they will find the weapon. I would appeal to anyone who knows anything about the missing weapon or indeed any other details about this wild west scene, culminating in one person receiving gunshot wound to the legs, to bring it forward to the police as soon as possible.”
Mr Dallat said he had asked the police if there are any paramilitary connections to the incident but investigations were at a very early stage.
Police confirmed they are investigating the circumstances surrounding an incident.
Detective Inspector Mullan said : “We received a report in the early hours of this morning that three shots had been fired in the Main Street area of the town. We believe that one of these shots injured a 46 year old man in his lower leg. The man was taken to hospital where he required surgery for his wound and treatment for other injuries to his face and body.
“Armed response units were tasked to the area to ensure the safety of members of the public.
“A 25 year old man was subsequently arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and a 28 year old man on suspicion of assisting an offender. They are currently in custody, helping police with their enquiries.
“Several searches were also carried out in the Garvagh area and a number of items taken away for further examination.
“We are appealing to anyone who was in the Main Street area of Garvagh between 2 - 4am this morning and witnessed this incident or saw any suspicious activity, to contact us on the non-emergency number 101 quoting reference 354 of 10/12/17.
“We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw a male making off from the scene on foot, carrying a suspicious item in his hand.
“Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”