A gun attack in north Belfast in which a man was been shot in the back on Westland Way in the early hours of this morning is being treated as attempted murder, police have said.
The man, who is aged in his thirties, was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries. His condition is not known.
A masked suspect fled on foot following the incident shortly after midnight.
Police have now confirmed they are treating the incident as attempted murder.
A large police presence was at the scene overnight. A local councillor said the incident is being treated as attempted murder.
Armed response vehicles, police dog units and a helicopter were all present at Westland Way.
Forensic units were also seen at the incident in the north of the city, where areas of the street were cordoned off.
Detective Sergeant Dougherty said: "A suspect, described as slim and dressed all in dark clothing with a mask on and a hood drawn tight over his face, is believed to have fled the area on foot in the direction of Westland Road.
"Our enquiries into this incident are ongoing and we would appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time and saw anything, or who may have dashcam or other footage, to contact police on 101 quoting reference 22 of 24/5/22."
North Belfast DUP MLA Brian Kingston condemned the shooting incident.
"It is appalling that a man has been shot in the back and has sustained serious injuries, in an incident which the police are treating as attempted murder,” he said.
"I condemn this shooting without equivocation. My thoughts are with the victim and his family circle.
“Any incident in which guns are used on our streets is reckless and deeply upsetting for the entire local community. Those responsible must be brought to justice. I appeal to anyone who can assist the police investigation to bring forward any information that they may have.”
Sinn Fein MLA Caral Ni Chuilin said that local people are shocked.
The North Belfast MLA said:
“The shooting of a man in Westland Way this morning was wrong, and I condemn it.
“There is absolutely no place for guns on our streets.
“I would appeal to anyone with information on this shooting to bring it forward to the PSNI.”
SDLP councillor Paul McCusker said his thoughts are with the victim.
"They are currently being treated in hospital and I hope they make a full recovery from their injuries. The local community are extremely concerned that a shooting has taken place on their doorsteps and it caused significant disruption in the area overnight,” he said.
“There can be no place for violence or guns on our streets. This is a residential area with families young and old who just want to go about their lives in peace without having to deal with incidents like this.
“I would urge anyone with any information about this shooting to come forward to police as soon as possible.”