Belfast Telegraph

Son of Belfast couple shot trying to protect him warned of new death threat

By Brett Campbell

The son of a couple shot in their home in the Turf Lodge area of west Belfast has been warned by police of a threat against him.

According to Sinn Fein MLA Pat Sheehan, officers visited the young man on Saturday, just days after his parents were shot in a paramilitary-style attack.

"He wasn't told what group issued this threat, what group is behind it, but obviously the whole family are very concerned, especially given what happened the other night," Mr Sheehan explained.

His parents, who are aged in their 50s, were targeted on Thursday evening when three masked gunmen entered their home at Norglen Parade and shot them both in the legs.

It is believed they were caught up in the attack while trying to protect their son.

Mr Sheehan said the family had suffered "horrendously" over recent days and condemned those behind the shooting.

"Those responsible have nothing to offer this community and I call on them to lift the threat immediately and get off the back of the people of Turf Lodge," he said.

The couple's injuries have been described as serious but not life-threatening.

Following the brutal attack, the PSNI insisted that it is the only police force in west Belfast.

Chief Inspector Norman Haslett said the masked and armed men took "law and order into their own hands" when they shot the couple in their home at 6.15pm last Thursday. He described those responsible as having "no moral compass whatsoever" and said "the community don't want them".

"People have taken law and order into their own hands and assumed the role of judge and jury and have passed the sentence.

"There is one police service in west Belfast and that is the Police Service of Northern Ireland," he added.

SDLP Councillor Tim Attwood visited the couple's son on Friday and has told the Belfast Telegraph of the shock following the attack. "The parents are obviously still recovering. Their son is badly shaken as a result of the incident and the neighbours are pretty shocked by it too.

"I spoke to their son on Friday afternoon to express my sympathy as his parents were recovering in hospital. Hopefully they make a full recovery," he said.

Mr Attwood added that the attack is only the latest in a string of violence that has shocked the community. "There have been a number of violent incidents in the area over the last few months, including the discovery of a viable device this weekend, but unfortunately there has also been a number of punishment attacks," he said.

There is no suggestion that they are linked.

The Belfast City councillor condemned those behind the shooting, calling them "callous and reckless". He added: "There are some reactionary people out there who should allow the police and the justice system to deal with any criminality and they should get off the backs of their community.

"There are some reckless and callous people out there who are putting the whole community at risk and it's unacceptable. They need to support the police."

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