The parents of three children gunned down in front of their seven-year-old son (pictured) are being treated as attempted murder victims.
Thomas Power (32) and his partner Leanne Daly escaped with their lives after a gunman fired a hail of bullets at them outside their home in Tullamore, Co Offaly.
The seven-year-old boy is traumatised after seeing his parents under fire in what gardai are treating as an attempted murder.
The couple were shot while they were taking one of their children out of their car.
A gunman approached their home and fired at it indiscriminately.
It’s understood a bullet grazed Mr Power’s back, while Ms Daly was shot in the shoulder. She underwent surgery for her injury this morning.
Their seven-year-old son was not hit but was said to be traumatised after seeing his parents gunned down.
The incident occurred in the Cluain Darach estate on the outskirts of Tullamore at 7.15pm yesterday evening.
This morning, gardai arrested a man in his early twenties in connection to the incident.
He is currently being detained at Tullamore Garda Station under the provisions of Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.
"It was a callous attack on a family, and any one of them or all of them could have been killed," said one neighbour.
"It looks like the gunmen either followed them home or were waiting for them, but when Thomas was taking the young lad out of car a guy ran at him with a gun and there was a struggle in the garden, and the gunman fired a shot which grazed the top of Thomas's head and injured his back," he told he Herald.
"Then Leanna ran to the door and a shot was fired in her direction, which hit her in the chest," he added.
Neighbours reported seeing the silver getaway car speeding from the scene.
"I heard two or three shots and thought they were bangers, but then I heard Leanna screaming in the garden and I knew something was up," said another neighbour.
The scene was sealed off and gardai from the technical bureau carried out a forensic examination of the scene this morning.
Shotgun pellet holes could be plainly seen in the front window and door of the semi-detached property in the quiet cul de sac.
Christmas decorations adorn the windows of the house, which would have given the gunman a good indication that children live there.
Neighbours said Thomas and Leanna are the parents of three children, one boy and two girls, the youngest of whom is a toddler.
Tullamore Garda Inspector Kieran Keyes said a man arrived at the estate in a car and fired shots through the door of the house injuring the couple.
"This man suffered a wound to his back and his partner who was at the door suffered a wounds to her shoulder," he explained.
The gunman then got into a silver coloured car and sped away in the direction of the Tullamore bypass.
Gardai are treating the incident as attempted murder.
Leanna Daly underwent surgery in the Midlands Regional Hospital at Tullamore, while Thomas Power was treated at the scene but did not attend the hospital.
A short time after the shooting, gardai preserved a second scene in Durrow, Co Offaly, where a burnt out car was discovered.
There have been at least three shootings in the Cluain Darach estate in the recent years with several more in the wider area.
Inspector Keyes is appealing to anyone who saw the silver car or witnessed anything suspicious in the area between 7pm and 8pm on Sunday to contact Tullamore Gardai on (057) 9327600 or call the confidential line at 1800 666 111.
Conor Feehan in Tullamore, Co Offaly