Loyalist William Cameron shot in leg sparking fears of further violence
The shooting of a top loyalist in Co Antrim has sparked fears of further trouble before Christmas.
William Cameron (50) was attacked on Friday night close to shops on the Castlemara estate in Carrickfergus.
Local councillor Billy Ashe told the Belfast Telegraph that people were fearing for the future.
Cameron, who has a conviction for possessing bullets, was politically involved with the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) and later the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG), both of which were linked to the UDA.
Cameron was out walking when he was approached by three masked men, who shot him once in the calf.
Mr Ashe said: "We had hoped that all this nonsense was in the past and we don't want to see a return to these kinds of attacks in Carrickfergus."
Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson said he was "disgusted" after the paramilitary-style shooting and "utterly condemned" those involved.
"Attacks like this have no place in our society and I hope the victim is able to make a full recovery.
"My thoughts are with him at this difficult time," he said.
East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs said the attack could result in scars, disability, or worse for the victim.
"It is deeply regrettable that a gun has been brought onto our streets.
"The police will have been diverted from their normal duties to investigate this serious incident," he said.
"I would appeal to the local community to help the police, who will need information to address this crime which is inhibiting the local community."
Detectives are appealing for witnesses to Friday's shooting to come forward.
"It was reported that at around 7.30pm a man, aged in his 50s, was out walking close to Castlemara shops when he was approached by three masked males," a PSNI spokesman said.
"The man was subsequently shot in the leg and was taken to hospital for treatment for a single gunshot wound to his calf.
"It is believed the three males made off on foot, however direction of travel is unknown at this time."
Detectives in Larne can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101.
Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.