Belfast Telegraph

Man who 'accidentally shot himself' arrested on suspicion of attempted murder

Forensic officers at the scene. Pic BBC
Forensic officers at the scene. Pic BBC

By Eimear McGovern

A 37-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after "accidentally shooting himself" in Forkhill on Tuesday night.

He has also been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and criminal damage.

The man remains in custody at this time assisting police with their enquiries.

It follows an incident in which it is believed he shot himself in the stomach before he was later dumped at the entrance of a Newry hospital in what is believed to have been a Traveller feud attack.

He was treated in hospital and underwent surgery with his condition being described as critical but stable.

Police said a car packed with men unloaded in the Park Urney area in Forkhill before they attacked a parked car with one man inside at around 6.30pm.

The 54-year-old in the car was attacked after trying to run away from the car during the incident. Police said he may have been hit by a gun resulting in cuts to his head needing hospital treatment.

As he again attempted to make his escape, one man gave chase before he fell and was shot in the stomach. He was taken to Daisy Hill Hospital  in a blue Honda Accord and left at the entrance.

The Honda was later found burnt out in the Mourne View Park in Newry.

The BBC has reported the incident was part of a Traveller feud. Police said they were investigating a motive.

Sinn Fein MP Mickey Brady condemned the incident saying such an incident had no place in society and appealed for calm.

“The area is in shock over it," he told the Armagh I news organisation.

"This was a savage attack and something we do not want in our communities.

“There is no justification for this shooting, especially given the fact that when you take weapons onto the street in such a reckless manner there is always the risk of bystanders being injured or killed as well.

“I would urge anyone with any information to contact the police and help get these dangerous criminals off our streets and away from our communities.”

Detective Inspector Handley added:"This was a reckless series of events and it only by sheer luck that we are not dealing with a tragic situation today.

"Two men ended up in hospital, however, anyone who was in the vicinity last night could well have been caught up in this and injured.

"Our investigation into these incidents is underway and we are working to establish a motive for what occurred."

The officer appealed for anyone who may have been in the area, or who saw the Honda car in the Park Urney area or at the hospital or being burnt out to get in touch.

Information can be provided to police on 101.

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