Mum tells of shotgun blasts on home

A FAMILY home was blasted with a shotgun amid a series of ­dramatic firearm incidents across the Capital.

Wednesday, 4th March 2015, 8:39 am
Police sealed off the area. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Police today moved to ­reassure residents after armed response units were called out five times in just 24 hours.

The attack on the house came after a city centre jewellery store and a Portobello bookmakers were targeted in armed raids.

Edinburgh’s top police officer Chief Superintendent Mark Williams then made the ­unusual step of issuing a statement insisting the incidents were “isolated” and not linked.

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In the most serious case, a family-of-three on West Pilton March were left terrified after their home was shot at twice just after midnight yesterday in a terrifying late-night assault that left the front door peppered with shotgun pellets.

Donna Wright, 48, was about to settle down to watch a film, while her husband Graham, 52, and 14-year-old son Hayden slept upstairs.

The shaken mum-of-five said: “I heard a bang and then another bang. From then on it has been a nightmare.

“I thought it was the windows so I ran to the window after the first bang, but just as I went nearer to the window I heard a second bang and it stopped me in my tracks.

“Graham came running down and ran outside. I didn’t hear a car and I didn’t see ­anything. To shoot somebody’s door is hatred.

“There is nobody I can think who could hate us that much to do anything like this.”

Neighbours reported ­hearing “two loud bangs” before a small, dark-coloured hatchback car screeched away at speed along Granton Mains Avenue and towards West Granton Road.

And yesterday police confirmed they were hunting for two men in connection with the incident – both dressed entirely in black – who were seen parking the hatchback on Granton Mains Avenue before making their way to the home where the shots were fired.

The pair, who are described as being short in stature and only slightly taller than the car they were travelling in, were seen running back to the vehicle shortly after the gunshots were heard and making a speedy getaway.

Cath Wyllie, who has lived on West Pilton March for the last 18 years, said she and her husband were jolted awake by the bangs shortly after midnight.

She said: “It sounded like it was right outside, it was so loud. It was definitely two shots – in really quick succession – and it sounded like a shotgun. When I heard the bang I expected to hear screams but it was just so quiet.

“We both looked out the window but there were no cars or anything on the street by then. They must have been quick, whoever they were.”

James Murdison, 84, a retired goods driver who lives opposite the targeted house, said the shots were so loud he thought they had been fired from a cannon.

He said: “It must have been around midnight and I heard two big bangs. I’ll tell you what, it made some noise. It was like a cannon. You don’t think of ­anything like that happening down here. It’s quiet.

“I looked down the road and there were people all standing outside and coming out their houses. Graham in the very end house came out and put his light on. I wouldn’t say there was any reason why they would target his house. He is a nice bloke. He is a family man.”

Police insisted there was no indication yesterday’s shooting was linked to any other incidents.

Chief Superintendent Williams, Edinburgh’s divisional commander, said: “Over the past few days, officers across Edinburgh have been involved in investigating a number of incidents in the city involving firearms.

“These crimes are isolated and are not linked. We’ve got dedicated teams pursuing positive lines of inquiry into those we believe are involved and, let me be clear, we will do all we can to find those responsible and bring them to justice.

“Edinburgh is a safe city, violent crime is continuing to fall and incidents like these are thankfully rare.

“We would appeal to anyone who has information about these incidents to come forward and speak to us in complete confidence.”

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Houston, who is spearheading the investigation into the West Pilton March shooting, issued an appeal for information.

He said: “What I’m keen to do is appeal for anyone who may have seen people in that area shortly before that time who may have come from a small, dark-coloured hatchback car that was in the Granton Mains Avenue area.

“We believe that two people have made their way from there into West Pilton March via a small alleyway between the two streets.

“Officers are now conducting inquiries in the community and I would appeal to anyone to come forward and speak with the officers regarding this incident and any other previous suspicious activity in the area.

“There will be additional uniformed patrols in the area in the coming days and we will continue to work closely with the public in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

• And in a separate incident yesterday, armed police swooped on an address at James Court in the High Street at around 4pm, where they proceeded to cordon off the area before seizing two BB Guns.