28 April 2005

Daily Ireland

**I'm amazed everyone can be so 'understanding' about this, considering an innocent little boy is fighting for his life because a teenager was 'playing' with a rifle, which should have been under the control of his father. The fact that it has been destroyed means the guilty one is attempting to cover-up evidence. If the PSNI know so much, why isn't there an arrest?

Teen suspect in boy’s shooting

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St Patrick's Primary, near Enniskillen - Photo: Haydn West/PA

The PSNI believes the rifle used in an incident in which a five-year-old Co Fermanagh boy was shot in the head has been destroyed.
It is also understood that the officers investigating the shooting of Darragh Somers last Friday also believe a teenager may have been responsible.
It is believed the youth fired the shot while playing with his father’s rifle in a field near St Patrick’s School in Mullnaskea, Co Fermanagh where Darragh was playing.
A PSNI source yesterday revealed the weapon used in the incident has since been destroyed, which would explain why detectives have not been able to close in on the attacker despite carrying out ballistics tests on all legally-held firearms in the locality.
When contacted yesterday about the revelations, a PSNI spokesperson said: “The investigation is ongoing and it would be unhelpful to comment at this time.”
A blue Toyota 4x4 vehicle has also been linked to the scene and the occupants have been asked to contact police.
From the outset, police have made clear their position and stressed that they are treating the incident as a horrific accident.
Although the investigation team are certain who is responsible, they have been appealing since Friday for the person to give themselves up.
Meanwhile, Darragh, a primary one pupil at the school, remains in a critical condition on a life support system in the Royal Victoria Hospital.
Darragh’s parents, Gerald and Janine, have being keeping a 24-hour vigil by his bedside since he underwent surgery to remove the bullet at the weekend.
The man heading the investigation into the shooting, Detective Chief Inspector, Nigel Kyle, this week said that police knew who fired the gun.
“We are following a positive line of inquiry. We have information that points us in the direction of a certain person,” DCI Kyle said.
He also issued an appeal to the person responsible.
“It is better you give yourself up rather than have us come looking for you,” he said.
At first the PSNI centred their inquiries on gun owners, farmers and huntsmen. They carried out ballistics tests on at least ten firearms which they seized in house-to-house inquiries, but none matched the bullet in question.
Principal of St Patrick’s Primary School, Bernie O’Connor said last night: “If this is a young person, I would say this: Don’t de-value yourself any more. You will have good friends if you come forward but if you don’t you will be condemned.”
“I’m sure whoever did this wishes they had come forward straight away.”
Mr O’Connor also said he had spoken to senior PSNI officers and to Darragh’s parents who reassured him that whoever is responsible will be treated with sympathy and understanding.
“Somewhere someone is in terrible pain over all this. This won’t go away. A young person is better off getting help from someone like me or anyone. You will be treated with sympathy, nobody will judge you,” said Mr O’Connor.

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