Second Belfast shooting: Gunman ambushes van men in Turf Lodge in 'revenge attack' for Traveller shooting
Terrified witnesses spoke of their shock after a gunman ambushed a van driver and two passengers in broad daylight yesterday.
The attack was the second shooting in as many days in the area, just outside a parade of shops at Monagh Road in Belfast's Turf Lodge area.
Local shoppers, none of whom wanted to be named, speculated that the incident could be a revenge attack connected to the Traveller-related shooting of a father-of-three in nearby Rosnareen Avenue on Thursday morning.
The victim of that shooting, who has been named locally as Martin Gavin, was wounded in the head as he sat in his car.
He remains in a critical condition in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.
Two men arrested in connection with the shooting of Mr Gavin were last night charged by police with making threats to kill.
The area around Monagh Road was sealed off by police as they investigated what officers at the scene described as a serious crime.
A shocked eyewitness said: "A man ran out from behind the shops, pulled out a gun and began shooting at a white van, which was parked in front of the shops.
"There were loads of children playing right where the attacker began shooting. He could have shot one of the children, it could easily have been fatal."
Police said the attacker wore a mask. He escaped on foot afterwards. None of the three men in the van were injured.
Detective Inspector Mary White said: "Three men were in the van at the time of the shooting, but all, thankfully, escaped without injury.
"The attacker left the scene on foot following the incident and enquiries are currently ongoing to establish a motive for the shooting."
DI White appealed for anyone with information about the attack to contact the police on 101, or anonymously via the Crimestoppers number, 0800 555111.
Sinn Fein MLA Pat Sheehan said: "Both these attacks have been reckless, both have happened at times when there were large numbers of schoolchildren on the streets.
"It's fortunate that no one was injured today, but in both incidents it could have been disastrous. There could have been passers-by injured or killed as a result of thse reckless actions."