Gardai identify 'suspects' in shooting of boy (6)
GARDAI have identified 'suspects' in the shooting of a young boy in Dublin last night.
Officers said this afternoon they are following a 'definite line of inquiry' in relation to the incident.
A senior investigating officer is leading the team and the scene is being technically examined.
The 6-year-old is in a stable condition in hospital after being shot in the neck.
It is understood the six-year-old was standing in the hallway of a house last night when two men approached the front door.
They knocked on the door but it was already open and they pushed it fully open.
They fired into the hallway and the boy was hit in the neck, either directly or by a ricochet.
The child's uncle was also in the house at the time.
It is not yet clear what type of weapon was used.
The incident occured at approximately 10.15pm in the Croftwood area of Ballyfermot.
It is understood the shooter remained in the area for a few minutes after the incident, believed to be in a state of confusion, while the other fled the scene.
"I heard a bang, I thought someone had smashed my window," a local woman said.
"I came out and everyone was screaming. I stared throwing towels out to people who were helping him to stop the bleeding.
"I couldn't look, it was horrible. He looked so small and scared. His glasses were up at his forehead."
The emergency services rushed to the scene to treat the child before bringing him to hospital.
A Garda source confirmed he was not alone at the time, adding that he remains in a "serious condition" in hospital.
Locals said there was "pandemonium" in the area.
A source involved in the investigation said the child was "conscious and breathing" when the emergency services arrived.
"The ambulance workers were horrified when they saw what had happened the child.
"He was awake throughout the ambulance journey."
He is in a stable condition this morning in Our Lady's Hospital, Crumlin.
Gardai sealed off the street pending a forensic examination by members of the garda technical bureau.
The Garda press office today confirmed that the gardai are receiving 'considerable assistance from the community' but the investigation is still in 'early days'.
A Garda liaison officer has been appointed to support the family during the investigation.
Local Sinn Fein Cllr Daithi Doolan told the Irish Independent that the community was shocked by what happened.
"I'd offer my deepest sympathy to his family and I wish him a speedy recovery and my thoughts are with them tonight. I hope that child comes out and continues to enjoy the summer."
Last night there was a large garda presence in the area.
They are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with detail to contact the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111.