Boy (15) shot in paramilitary-style attack in Coleraine
The shooting of a 15-year-old boy in a paramilitary-style attack was morally reprehensible madness, a police commander has said.
The youth was shot by a gang of masked men in a house in Coleraine in the early hours today.
Around 5am the three men, one wielding a baseball bat, burst into the property at Glebe Avenue and shot the boy in each leg.
He is being treated in hospital for his injuries.
PSNI assistant chief constable Will Kerr said it was too early to identify any suspects.
"Anybody who thinks shooting a 15-year-old progresses any legitimate aim, it is just absolute madness, it really is, the shooting of children," he said.
He said the issue of ongoing vigilante-style paramilitary shootings was of significant concern to the PSNI and the Policing Board.
The officer said since last June, 69 people have been arrested for so-called punishment or paramilitary-type attacks - 18 of whom have been charged and six convicted to date.
Mr Kerr added: "There is no place in any modern, any way civil society for the shooting of children. It is not just a crime, it is morally reprehensible and we will continue to chase those people and continue to put people before the courts."
Assembly member John Dallat said the "brutal and ruthless" incident was the second so-called "knee-capping" in the Coleraine area in recent weeks.
"I would urge the community to co-operate with the police and provide information which will help bring about an arrest," said the SDLP representative.
"No-one knows whose child could be the next victim of such a gang."