Newry gun victim Pat Lynch in fight for life as man (79) bailed
A neighbourhood dispute is said to be one line of inquiry being pursued by police probing a shooting which left a man fighting for his life in hospital.
Pat Lynch (50) was critically injured after being shot in the stomach and knee in Newry on Saturday evening.
He was taken to Daisy Hill Hospital for emergency surgery and transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where his condition is critical.
A 79-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident. He was later released on bail pending further enquiries.
It is understood at least two masked gunmen targeted the victim in the garden of his home at Parkhead Crescent, near the republican Derrybeg estate, just after 6.30pm on Saturday.
Security sources have ruled out paramilitary involvement. It is understood police are investigating if the shooting is linked to a neighbourhood dispute.
Police forensic teams were examining the scene yesterday.
Experts dressed in protective white clothing could be seen combing the area for clues.
Dominic Bradley, an SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh, said the shooting was "reckless".
"Like the people in the local area, I am totally shocked by this shooting," he said.
"It happened in what is normally a quiet residential estate.
"I understand the victim is a local man and I hope and pray he makes a full recovery."
SDLP councillor John McArdle appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
"My thoughts and sympathies are with the victim – I pray to God he recovers," he said.
Sinn Fein councillor Charlie Casey said he was concerned by the incident.
"Some poor man is lying critically ill in hospital and whatever the circumstances it is to be condemned," he said.
"Newry as a city is thriving. I was out and about at the weekend and people are coming from across Ireland for shopping.
"I would be concerned that news like this might put some people off coming. It is a worrying development and I would hope it is a one-off."
Alliance justice spokesman Stewart Dickson said he was appalled by the incident.
"People have the right to live peacefully in their homes, without fear of being attacked," he said.
Last night a spokesperson for the Belfast Health Trust described Mr Lynch's condition as "critical".
Police have appealed for anyone who witnessed the shooting or who has relevant information to contact them on 084 5600 8000.
Details can also be passed to the Crimestoppers charity in confidence on 08 0055 5111.