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Suspect arrested after early morning shooting

A senior police officer has branded as “extremely reckless” an early morning shooting incident in the New Lodge area of north Belfast.

Officers responded to a report of shots being fired at a man in the Stratheden Street area shortly after 7am on Monday morning.

The intended target was not injured during the attack.

The Antrim Road, from Carlisle Circus to Pim Street, remained closed for most of the morning as police forensic teams examined the scene.

Police arrested one man and also seized a vehicle during the security operation, which finished on Monday evening.

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Little condemned the shooting, and said that it was lucky no one was injured in the incident.

“This was an extremely reckless act in a heavily populated area,” he said.

“Thankfully no one has been injured.”

DCI Little said police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.

“We are investigating a number of lines of enquiry and I am keen to hear from anyone who was near the Antrim Road/Stratheden Street area on Monday morning and who may be able to assist.”

Sinn Fein councillor Conor Maskey said he had “no idea whatsoever” why the shots were fired.

“I'm hearing locally that possibly two men approached another person and then whatever ensued from there, at least one shot has been fired,” he said.

“It's obvious to condemn the use of any weapon, but specifically the firing of a gun,” he added.

DUP MLA William Humphrey said: “Any incident of gunfire in a residential area is highly reckless and puts local people at risk of injury or loss of life. Those who use guns to intimidate or to inflict injury or death are a danger to society; they must be stopped and brought to justice.”

Last Thursday (8th) a 27-year old man was shot in Jamaica Court in north Belfast. It is believed the attack was a punishment-style shooting.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police in north Belfast are appealing for information following a shooting incident in the Jamaica Court area. Shortly before 7pm, police received reports that a 27-year old man had been shot in his left leg.

“He was taken to hospital for treatment for two gun shot wounds to his lower left leg.

“His injuries are not believed to be life threatening,” added the spokesperson.

North Belfast SDLP MLA Alban Maginness has condemned the attacks and called on the local community to back the criminal justice system instead of vigilante justice.

He said: “Punishment shootngs had no place in right-thinking society during the height of the Troubles and they have no place now.

“They are no alternative for the proper criminal justice system and should not be supported by local communities.

“The SDLP has always condemned violence of all kinds and that is a stance that does not, will not and cannot change,” he added.

Police have appealed for anyone with information about either incidents to contact CID in Tennent Street Police Station on 0845 600 8000.

Belfast Telegraph