DUP councillor condemns gun attack in north of city and appeals for no retaliation
A Belfast DUP councillor has condemned those behind the attempted murder of a man in the north of the city on Sunday night.
Brian Kingston also appealed for no retaliation after the shooting at Hopewell Crescent, off the Crumlin Road, shortly after 11pm.
It was the first of two shootings within 24 hours. Last night, police were at the scene of a shooting in the Mosside Gardens area outside Ballymoney.
Just after 7.30pm police received a report that a man had been shot at a residential property. He was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries.
An investigation is now underway, the PSNI said.
Meanwhile, the 29-year-old victim of Sunday’s north Belfast attack was in a critical condition in hospital last night.
The man, who is understood to be from outside the area, was hit up to seven times in the upper body at the rear of a house.
A short time later police received a report that a burnt-out vehicle had been found on Fortwilliam Golf Course near Grays Lane. The car, which detectives suspect may have been used in connection with the shooting, has been recovered for forensic examination.
Former Belfast lord mayor Mr Kingston visited the scene yesterday.
Mr Kingston said: “It’s a very long time since a serious incident such as this has occurred in this area. This was a vicious and criminal act, which I would strongly condemn.
“Sunday night’s events have shocked local people and there is strong concern that a gun has been used in this residential area, something that cannot be tolerated. This is quite a settled and close-knit community with people of all ages, including the elderly and those with young families, who all know each other.
“With new social housing being built in the area and a growing enrolment at the local primary school, there are a lot of positive things happening here, so anything like this has a very negative impact.”
PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Natalie McNally described the shooting as “a callous, brutal and violent attempt to kill, carried out in a heavily populated residential area”. She added: “We would urge anyone who was in the area of Hopewell Crescent on Sunday evening, or who may have any information that could assist us with our enquiries, to contact detectives.
No matter how small or insignificant you think your information may seem, we would encourage you to come forward to police and not to share it on social media.
“We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw a dark coloured saloon car leave the area at speed just before 11.15pm. We would also appeal to anyone with CCTV footage in the area, or any drivers with dash-cam footage, who have yet to come forward, to call 101 quoting reference number 2006 of 21 /02/21.”