Belfast Telegraph

Suspect held over shooting of man (30) in west Belfast is released

Deaghlan Collins who was shot outside a west Belfast chip shop
Deaghlan Collins who was shot outside a west Belfast chip shop
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

A 39-year-old man arrested in connection with the shooting of Deaghlan Collins was released unconditionally yesterday.

The suspect had been arrested in west Belfast on Tuesday.

The victim, also known as Decky, was shot twice as he left a fast food restaurant on the Springfield Road at 7.40pm on Monday night in front of dozens of bystanders.

It is understood that Mr Collins (30), who had recently become a new father, had been under threat from several armed groups.

He is currently in the Royal Victoria Hospital in a critical but stable condition, but has suffered life-changing injuries after being shot - once in the ankle and once in the back.

Detective Chief Inspector Mary White said that it was purely by luck that Mr Collins wasn't killed and that a stray bullet did not injure anyone else in the vicinity.

It is believed that the gunman made his escape on foot along Kashmir Road, and is described as being approximately 5ft 9ins tall and of a lean build. He was wearing a dark jacket and trousers - both possibly black - a black hat and what appeared to have been a scarf covering his face.

Ms White explained that after Mr Collins was chased and shot a first time, he attempted to crawl to safety.

"This was an absolutely reckless act involving a man who was gunned down in a busy area in west Belfast," she said.

"When the first shot struck the man, he fell to the ground, forcing him to crawl away in an attempt to reach safety. We know the gunman fired a number of other shots, with one striking the victim a second time."

The PSNI has appealed to both pedestrians and drivers who were in the area at the time of the shooting to come forward.

"If you saw anything that could help us catch the gunman, call detectives at Musgrave on 101, quoting reference number 1885 22/07/19 or Crimestoppers," she added.

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