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First aid hero: scene of Belfast shooting will haunt me forever

A Good Samaritan who rushed to the aid of a paramilitary shooting victim says he will be forever haunted by the blood-soaked scene.

Masked gunmen blasted their victim, believed to be in his 40s, in both thighs and a wrist during the brutal attack in west Belfast.

The shooting, which has been blamed on dissident republicans, happened at a house in the predominantly nationalist Hawthorn Street at about 9pm last night.

Colin Keenan, a Belfast councillor who lives nearby, arrived within minutes. He said: "It was the most horrific scene I have ever seen in my life. It was like something straight out of a horror film."

Mr Keenan, who gave first aid, said it looked like an artery had been nicked.

"His clothing was totally soaked with blood and it was hard to ascertain how many times he had actually been shot," he said.

It is understood the victim had been dragged into the bathroom of the terraced property and shot.

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Mr Keenan used his belt as a tourniquet in a bid to suppress the heavy bleeding.

He said: "He had one wound on each inner thigh and one on his left wrist. The right thigh was losing the most blood so I took my belt off and put it above the wound.

"We then elevated everything else - the arms and legs - until the ambulance arrived about 20 minutes later."

The man was in a stable condition in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

Mr Keenan condemned those responsible as "barbaric".

He said: "I am confident that these attacks have no place in our society."

PSNI Inspector David McBride has appealed for information about the incident.

He said: "It was reported to police at around 9.15pm that a number of masked men entered a house and shot a male occupant a number of times in the legs and arm.

"The man was taken to hospital for treatment to his wounds which are not believed to be life-threatening. I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this incident to contact police on the non-emergency number 101."

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