Belfast Telegraph

Belfast terror attack: Crimewatch appeal sparks flurry of calls

By Cate McCurry

A PSNI officer who was shot by dissident republicans has revealed how he saw a bone "hanging out of his arm" seconds after he was injured.

The young officer was targeted as part of a murder bid as he left a petrol station in north Belfast six weeks ago.

He had been on patrol with a new PSNI recruit when they stopped for a coffee on the Crumlin Road on January 22.

Speaking about the attack for the first time, the officer said that while the physical side of his injuries were healing, the mental side of the attack will "haunt" him.

The case featured on BBC's Crimewatch show last night.

The officer was hit several times with rounds fired from an AK-47.

The weapon had previously been used in an attack on police at Rossnareen Avenue in west Belfast in 2015, the Belfast Telegraph reported in January.

CCTV images, shown for the first time, reveal the moment the gunman opened fire, spraying the forecourt with bullets. The policeman can be seen running for his life.

"I felt something hit me and looked down and saw the bone hanging out of my arm. I didn't feel any pain, but I ran for cover," he said. "I thought that was me, I was going to die in that forecourt.

"You go through a whole range of emotions, everything slowed down, thinking that's it. You have got minutes to live.

"I love this city, Belfast is great. Joining the police, it sounds cliched, but it was just the thought of helping people.

"You build a rapport and they end up knowing you by name. I am not just a uniform.

"That night I had been showing a new officer around, seeing where certain things were and getting to know the area.

"We had been to a few calls, but nothing out of the ordinary."

The officer also revealed that when he went in to the petrol station he realised he didn't know how his new colleague took his coffee, so returned to ask, and it was then he was shot.

He added: "I have dealt with the physical side of things, but the mental side of things haven't really hit me yet, but I'm sure it will. It will haunt me."

Detective Superintendent Kevin Geddes stated at the end of the BBC programme that the PSNI had received a number of calls after the appeal, but urged the public to pass on more information.

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