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Man fighting for life after being shot in neck in Carrick attack - major armed raid carried out

A man is fighting for his life in hospital after he was shot in Carrickfergus.

Police said the victim, aged in his 40s, is in hospital with life threatening injuries. He was shot in the neck.

The attack has been linked to a paramilitary feud in the area.

It happened in Pinewood Avenue in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, on Monday afternoon at around 2.15pm.

Police have said they are following "significant lines of enquiry" and voiced their concern at guns being fired during daylight hours with children in the vicinity.

Superintendent Darrin Jones said: "While the investigation is still at an early stage police are following significant lines of enquiry and I would appeal to anyone who has information about today’s attack to contact us.

“Firearms being discharged in a residential area, particularly during daylight hours when children are in the vicinity, is concerning. We need the community to give us the information needed so we can remove the dangerous individuals who carried out this attack from our streets and put them before a court of law.

“There will be a continued police presence in the area as we search for those who carried out this brutal attack.”

Witnesses have described hearing five shots ring out in the afternoon sky.

The ambulance service said it attended to a report of a man with a gunshot wound before he was rushed to Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.

There is a large police presence in the town following the incident and earlier there were reports of large crowds gathered.

Independent Councillor for Carrickfergus, Jim Brown said people were frustrated and don't want the situation to escalate.

He said: "It's the last thing we need in Carrickfergus

"Unfortunately, this has been a long time coming, as many who serve the community here will know.

"We're frustrated by the lack of police activity and response in Carrickfergus. They aren't on the street as much.

"The police station is only open from 1.30pm to 5pm, that's inadequate cover. It's been going on for years.

"The police and their intelligence know who's behind it. The community is frustrated by this."

One neighbour watching events from outside his house said it was an "absolute shock for everybody".

He said he agreed with councillor Brown that police did not have a strong enough presence in Carrickfergus.

"We definitely need more police in Carrickfergus, it's very seldom we would see a police car here. "

Another woman who lived next door called the incident a "disgrace."

"Especially with children out on the street. I'm not so concerned for myself but my son who is five years of age and running around the street when this happens.

"I agree 100% about the police presence. Back in the day there was a lot of police patrols, now they don't do anything."

Reacting, East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said: "This type of behaviour has no place in our society. I condemn it and urge anyone with info to come forward to the PSNI."

Unconfirmed reports suggest police made one arrest following searches.

The attack comes after three men appeared in court charged over the attempted murder of a doorman at nearby pub, The Royal Oak.

Detectives are investigating and have appealed to anyone with information to contact them on 101, quoting reference number 605 13/03/17. Alternatively, information can be passed to the Crimestoppers  charity anonymously by telephoning 0800 555 111.

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