Belfast Telegraph

Man shot twice in street as he left chip shop was new dad

Forensic officers examine a car on the Springfield Road
Forensic officers examine a car on the Springfield Road
Sinn Fein’s Fra McCann
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

Police have made an arrest after a man was shot in west Belfast in front of dozens of bystanders on Monday night.

It is believed that the 30-year-old man suffered life-changing injuries after he was shot twice — once in the ankle and once in the back — by a man wearing a ski mask on the Springfield Road.

The victim, who is now in a stable condition in hospital and is believed to have become a father recently, was heard screaming for help.

Police are now treating the incident as attempted murder and believe paramilitaries may have been involved.

Last night, the PSNI said detectives had arrested a 39 year old man. The man was arrested in west Belfast was taken into custody at Musgrave Police Station for questioning.

The attack happened outside a chip shop at around 7.40pm and police believe the gunman made off on foot along Kashmir Road after the shooting.

He is described as being of medium height and wearing dark clothing.

An eyewitness said the victim had been leaving the fast food outlet at the time of the incident and, as soon as he walked out the door, “10 shots could be heard”.

“I looked up the road to the left and saw (the victim) trying to get into an Insignia but couldn’t see anyone else,” said the witness.

“He was screaming ‘help, help, help’, and when he got to the door of the car he just collapsed to the ground.

“The ambulance were there just seconds later.”

A passing ambulance crew heard the gunshots and saw the man lying on the pavement.

An Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “One of our crews was on the Springfield Road at around 7.40pm when they heard a number of gunshots.

“They then saw a man lying on the pavement and tended to him before he was taken to Royal Victoria Hospital.”

Police remained at the scene throughout Monday night and yesterday morning, as forensic experts gathered evidence.

Detective Inspector Michael McDonnell stated that the victim was chased by the gunman and shot a number of times.

“This was a reckless and ruthless attack carried out in broad daylight beside a busy main road in a residential area and endangered the lives of everyone in the vicinity,” he added.

Councillor Brian Heading condemned the shooting and said the person responsible could have injured others.

“You never become used to the news that one of your neighbours has been shot, it’s a numbing experience and it has once again created a chilling atmosphere for local people,” stated the SDLP councillor.

“This was a savage attack in the middle of a built-up residential area.

“Who gives them the right to dole out rough justice? It’s certainly not the people of this community.

“They are criminal thugs and need to face justice.”

Mr Heading also urged those with information to go to the police as “there’s no room in west Belfast” for those responsible for the shooting.

Sinn Fein’s Fra McCann also condemned the incident, describing it as “disgraceful”.

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