DETECTIVES are hunting a gunman who fired at a block of flats and blasted a hole in the living room window of a man’s home.
The suspect fired from the street at the rear of the first-floor flat in Whitehill Grove in Woodburn, Dalkeith, with a bullet smashing through the bottom of the window pane.
The resident, named locally as 21-year-old Peter Moffat, was not home at the time of the shooting, which took place last Wednesday.
Police said that the man was “understandably shaken” after discovering his flat had been targeted and only reported the incident on Saturday.
Neighbours today spoke of hearing a single “bang” and “muffled voices” when the gunman struck in the early hours.
Locals suggested that the man may have been targeted as part of an ongoing feud, and said that the area had been blighted by drug dealers.
Detectives said that ballistic tests to confirm the type of weapon used were continuing but confirmed it was “definitely a firearm, not an air gun”.
A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “I was in bed when I heard a bang. Then I heard some muffled voices.
“I’ve never heard a gunshot before so I didn’t realise that’s what it was. I didn’t even get out of bed. I didn’t think anything of it until I saw the scenes of crime officers there on Saturday. The area does have its problems with drugs. It’s not a great place but I didn’t think it was bad enough for people to be using guns.”
Another neighbour said: “The guy living there has only been staying for a couple of months. He’s not actually there very often. He tends to come home, play music really loud for half-an-hour then go back out again.
“It may have been part of a feud or something. The bullet has gone through the living room window. I don’t think he’s been home since the police and forensics were in.”
Extra police patrols are being deployed in the area to reassure the public while officers have been carrying out door-to-door inquiries. Inspector Michelle Ritchie said the investigation was working to establish a motive for the attack and officers were “keeping an open mind” over why the man’s flat was targeted.
She said: “High-visibility patrols are currently being deployed in the Woodburn area to offer reassurance to the community and speak with local residents who may have information that can help with our investigation.
“The use of firearms remains incredibly rare in Midlothian and a thorough investigation is now under way to determine the full circumstances surrounding this discharge.”