Belfast Telegraph

Attempted murder of police officer in Co Fermanagh probed

The male officer was confronted on his doorstep by a masked man aiming a shotgun at him.

The PSNI is investigating an incident it has described as the attempted murder of a police officer (Niall Carson/PA)
The PSNI is investigating an incident it has described as the attempted murder of a police officer (Niall Carson/PA)

By Rebecca Black, PA

The attempted murder of an off duty police officer has been condemned by DUP leader Arlene Foster as an “outrageous attack on a public servant”.

The male officer was confronted on his doorstep in Co Fermanagh by a masked man aiming a shotgun at him.

The incident, which took place in the Kesh area at around 2am on Thursday, is being investigated by the Police Service of Northern Ireland as attempted murder.

Mrs Foster said what happened must be condemned.

“The brazen attempted murder of a police officer in Kesh, Co. Fermanagh is an outrageous attack on a public servant and must be condemned,” she said.

“It is a reminder of the threat and danger that police officers face on a daily basis as they try to protect our community.”

A senior detective said she believes “organised criminal elements” may be responsible.

Detective Chief Inspector Julie Mullan also made an appeal to the public for information to help them catch those responsible.

“The male police officer was at home in the Rosscah/Crevenish Rd area at around 2am this morning when he noticed movement outside his property,” she said.

“Upon opening his front door to investigate, the officer was confronted by a masked male aiming a shotgun at him.

“The suspect, who is described as being dressed entirely in black, then made off on foot across nearby fields close to the local football club.

“We firmly believe that this disturbing incident was a failed attempt to kill a local police officer.”

Ms Mullan said the actions of those responsible “stand in stark contrast” to their intended target.

“There are no words to describe those who would creep through the dark of night with nothing but death and destruction on their minds,” she said.

“Their actions stand in stark contrast to those officers, including their intended target, who every day police our communities with dignity, respect and courtesy.

“At the present time we are keeping an open mind as to the motivation behind this attack however a primary line of enquiry is that organised criminal elements may be responsible.

“CID detectives have now initiated a full investigation, which I can assure the community will be thorough and robust.

“I would take this opportunity to appeal for the help of the people of Kesh and further afield in identifying this would-be killer.

“Were you in the Rosscah/Crevenish Road area early this morning? Did you see anyone or anything you felt was suspicious? Did you capture dashcam footage? Do you have any information about this crime? No matter how small or insignificant it may seem, please get in touch.

“The investigation team can be contacted by calling 101, quoting reference 126 02/01/20.”

Mark Lindsay, chairman of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, condemned the incident.

“This was an appalling and cowardly act,” he said.

“The officer was fortunate to escape unhurt. I spoke with him earlier today and, understandably, he has been left badly shaken by the shocking experience of being confronted by a gunman on his doorstep.

“We will provide the officer with whatever assistance he requires to come to terms with what happened. I know every effort will be made to bring his would-be killer to justice and I would echo the appeal made by the PSNI to the public to help in whatever way they can with this robust investigation.

“There should be no place for this type of Mafia-style behaviour. This is gangsterism at its worst and the entire community needs to reject those who would think nothing of murdering a police officer and delivering untold heartache and pain to his family.”

PA

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