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Police hunt third man after shooting arrests in west Belfast siege

By Deborah McAleese

Published 25/02/2016

Scenes from the dramatic swoop by heavily-armed police on a house in Aspen Walk in Belfast in the early hours of yesterday morning
Scenes from the dramatic swoop by heavily-armed police on a house in Aspen Walk in Belfast in the early hours of yesterday morning
Scenes from the dramatic swoop by heavily-armed police on a house in Aspen Walk in Belfast in the early hours of yesterday morning
Scenes from the dramatic swoop by heavily-armed police on a house in Aspen Walk in Belfast in the early hours of yesterday morning
Scenes from the dramatic swoop by heavily-armed police on a house in Aspen Walk in Belfast in the early hours of yesterday morning

Police are still hunting a man in relation to a shooting in west Belfast on Tuesday night.

Two men were arrested and at least one gun recovered when armed police surrounded a house following the attempted murder of a 41-year-old man in a nearby street.

The victim was left in a serious condition after he was shot in the leg as he walked in the Glasvey Drive area of west Belfast shortly before midnight on Tuesday.

A major policing operation, involving the PSNI helicopter and more than 20 armed officers, was launched following reports of the shooting.

Armed officers surrounded a house in Aspen Walk and ordered the occupants out at gunpoint.

A woman exited the house first with her hands in the air. She was not arrested. Moments later a man came out and was immediately handcuffed and removed from the scene by police.

A second man walked out of the house, but initially refused to obey a police order to raise his hands.

He stood drinking from a can while an officer pointed a gun in his direction and ordered him to put his hands up. He was eventually handcuffed.

After the two suspects were taken into police custody a number of specialist officers stormed the property.

On Thursday morning the two men aged 25 and 35 were released on police bail. Police have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

A firearm and ammunition were later believed to have been recovered from a car parked at the property.

It is understood that a third man was last night still being hunted by police in connection with the shooting.

Belfast Telegraph photographer Kevin Scott, who captured the dramatic scenes on camera, described how events unfolded.

"The street was really quiet and then all of a sudden two police vehicles came speeding around the corner and the police helicopter hovered above the house.

"There were armed police surrounding the house and more lining the road.

"There was a lot of shouting with policemen ordering people to get out of the house with their hands where they could see them," he said.

Searches of the property continued throughout yesterday.

Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann said tensions were running high in the area. "I am calling on people to remain calm. Local people are shocked and angered that a man has been shot and seriously injured in their area," she said.

Belfast Telegraph

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