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Northern Ireland police plea for help to catch Geordie Gilmore gunman after 'shocking attack' in Carrick street

Police have urged the Carrickfergus public to help them catch the gunman who shot prominent loyalist Geordie Gilmore.

Mr Gilmore was shot in the neck as he sat in a car in the Pinewood Avenue area of the Co Antrim town on Monday at around 2.15pm. The 44-year-old is believed to have been involved in a loyalist feud in the town.

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Carrickfergus gun attack: Tensions high as locals fear escalation of feud

The gunman is thought to have made off on foot from the scene. On Tuesday police issued an appeal for the community's help to track him down.

They said it was particularly chilling the murder attempt took place in daylight, in a residential area and just yards from where children were playing.

"That is simply shocking in a civilised society," said District Commander Superintendent Darrin Jones.

He added: “In the hours after the shooting local police, supported by members of the PSNI’s Armed Response Units and colleagues from Air Support Unit, carried out a number of searches across Carrickfergus and maintained a robust presence in the area throughout the night. This very visible police operation will continue as we continue to gather evidence and investigate this brutal crime.

"It is just unacceptable that someone would produce a weapon and open fire in any circumstances however it is particularly chilling that this attack, this murder bid, took place in broad daylight, in a residential street populated with families, young children and older people.

"I am renewing my appeal to local people to assist us with our enquiries and to help us identify the person or persons who orchestrated and carried out this ruthless attack. We want to apprehend them and place them before the courts to answer for their crimes, and we can only do that with your help and support.

"While a definitive motive for the shooting has not been established and we are exploring a number of possible lines of enquiry, I can say that at this time the involvement of paramilitary criminals is one possibility. Obviously as the investigation is at a very early stage I cannot expand further upon that at present.

"I would urge anyone with information or who believes they can assist the investigation in any way to please come forward. You can call police on 101 or if you would prefer to provide you information anonymously you can by calling the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111."

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