Man (21) hospitalised after being shot in Co Offaly
Gardaí investigate after man sustains gunshot wounds in field outside Tullamore
A second man, also in his 20s, who was in the field with the injured man escaped unscathed. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Gardaí say they are keeping an open mind in relation to the shooting of a young man in Co Offaly on Wednesday night.
The 21-year-old was in a field off Clara Road in Tullamore when he sustained pellet injuries to his legs after he was shot just before 10pm. He was taken by ambulance to the Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore, where he is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Another man, also in his 20s, who was in the field with the injured man escaped unscathed. Gardaí said the shot appeared to have been fired from a distance.
A Garda spokesman said they were keeping an open mind in relation to the incident and were exploring all avenues of investigation. Searches in the field have been carried out and inquires are ongoing but no arrests have been made to date.
However, it is understood gardaí suspect the shooting may have been carried out by local criminal elements. A source said it was being treated as “a criminal act as opposed to an accident” but, at the same time, “we are not alien to the fact that it may have been an accident”.
Cllr Tommy McKeigue (FG) expressed concern about the shooting and said there was widespread shock over the incident. “Tullamore is a very peaceful town and it is not a good culture, if that starts up here now,” he said.
An incident room has been established at Tullamore Garda station.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the station on 057-9327600 or the Garda Confidential on Line 1800 666 111.