Northern Ireland

West Belfast attack: Teenager shot in legs by masked gang in bedroom

Media captionTeenager Aaron Stilges was shot six times in his bedroom

A west Belfast teenager has spoken of his horror at being shot in the legs six times by a masked gang in the bedroom of his home.

The men forced their way into the property at Monagh Drive shortly before 21:20 GMT on Tuesday.

Aaron Stilges, 17, was taken to hospital for treatment but has now been released.

The bullets narrowly missed his four-year-old brother and family who were being held captive downstairs.

"By the time I got to the end of my bedroom there were three men standing there with masks over their faces," he said.

"I looked into the eyes of the first man and I saw the gun and then we both started wrestling and I fell to the floor.

"My legs were hanging out behind me and that's when I started hearing the gun shots.

"They just asked me my name and then ran down the stairs and left me lying there.

"The whole hospital bed was covered in blood when I woke up this morning, I can't sleep."

Aaron said he no longer wished to live in his house as a result of the shooting and admitted he had been concerned for the rest of the family.

'Crying'

Two of the bullets went through the ceiling and into the living room where they were being held.

Image caption Aaron Stilges' aunt Marie has condemned the shooting

The bullets narrowly missed his four-year-old brother, Jay, who was standing near the television.

"I was wrestling with them (the men) and then I heard my sister crying, I gave up and let them do what they had to do, get it over and done with," he said.

Aaron's aunt Marie condemned the attack and said it was fortunate his younger brother Jay had not been killed.

"It is ridiculous. Aaron is no angel, but he does not deserve that," she said.

"That child could have been killed playing with the ball and bullets coming through the ceiling.

"It should not have happened at all."