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Ombudsman launches probe after man shot by police officer left in 'critical condition' in Londonderry incident

Officer left with stab wounds to head and arm after police called to property in response to concern for safety report


Police at the scene of an incident in the Celandine Court area of Gobnascale where a police officer discharged his gun.

Police at the scene of an incident in the Celandine Court area of Gobnascale where a police officer discharged his gun.

Police at the scene of an incident in the Celandine Court area of Gobnascale where a police officer discharged his gun.

The Police Ombudsman has launched an investigation into an incident involving a man who was shot at a home after police responded to a report of concern for safety at a flat in Londonderry.

The incident, which took place on Saturday just before 11pm, resulted in the man being taken to hospital where he is understood to be in a critical condition, the police watchdog said.

One police officer has been treated for stab wounds to his arm and head.

The incident took place at a flat at Celandine Court in the Gobnascale area of the Waterside.

On Sunday a spokesman for the Police Ombudsman's Office said: “Our investigators are at the scene and are making enquiries to establish the circumstances of what happened.

“At this stage, we know that police went to the flat after receiving a call for assistance. There was then a confrontation during which one police officer sustained stab wounds and police discharged CS spray and a single gunshot."

He continued: “Police notified the Police Ombudsman’s on-call team about the incident, and our investigators have been making enquiries at the scene throughout the night.

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“We would be keen to hear from anyone who knows anything about what happened, and would ask anybody who might be able to assist our enquiries to call our freephone witness appeal line on 0800 032 7880.”

A PSNI spokesperson confirmed the incident had been referred to the watchdog, adding the officer in question had been responding to a report of concern for safety involving a man at an address in Celandine Court.

"As officers were dealing with the incident, a police firearm was discharged and the male sustained a chest injury. He remains in hospital at this time," they said.

"A police officer sustained a knife wound to his arm and head during the incident and he was taken to hospital for treatment.

"There are no further details at this time."

Police Federation for Northern Ireland Chair Mark Lindsay called for a more widespread use of tasers to deal with such incidents.

“This was an horrific incident for all concerned. We wish our officer a full and speedy recovery and assure him we will do all we can on his behalf during the Police Ombudsman’s investigation," he said.

“Taser protects lives and prevents injuries and rather than viewing it as a further erosion of civil liberties, it should be seen as a preferable option to the use of firearm.

“Taser is an effective device when dealing with difficult and challenging incidents. Its professional deployment protects officers and prevents assailants from inflicting harm on others including officers. It is a sensible and safe deterrent that also gives officers badly-needed protection in often volatile and dangerous situations.”

Sinn Fein MLA Martina Anderson said she was "very concerned" by the shooting of what she described as a "vulnerable person".

“The man is in intensive care in hospital and my first thoughts are that I hope he will survive his injuries," she said.

“A police officer also suffered a stab wound during the incident. Thankfully the officer has been released from hospital and I hope he too makes a full recovery.

She stressed that she has since contacted the PNSI and the Ombudsman to convey "grave concerns that lethal force has been used in this incident".

“The PSNI needs to be provide the public with a full explanation about this shooting of a vulnerable man," added the MLA.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood also called for a full investigation into the incident, describing it as "deeply worrying".

“There needs to be a thorough investigation into this incident by the Police Ombudsman. I would encourage everyone involved to cooperate with the Ombudsman’s office as they investigate these troubling circumstances," the Foyle MP said.

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