Belfast Telegraph

Two arrests after man is shot in west Belfast attack

Police have made two arrests after a man, aged in his mid 40s, was shot in a west Belfast attack.

The man was shot in the Rossnareen Avenue area close to Shaws Road, shortly before 9am on Thursday.

Initially police said the victim was shot in the head. They have since said he was shot in the upper body.

The man was in the passenger seat of a black Vauxhall car and was shot through the window.

It is understood the female driver of the vehicle drove away from the scene, stopping on Shaws Road close to its junction with Rosgoill Park.

Witnesses described a car as "riddled with bullets" and said the man was still breathing before being taken to the Royal.

His condition is not known at this time, while, it's understood the woman was treated for shock.

Reports have suggested the man is from the Traveller community and it was his wife who was driving the car.

Police say the incident is "ongoing" on the Shaws Road.

Shaws Road has been closed between Stewartstown Road and Rossnareen Road while forensic officers investigate the scene.

Sinn Fein MLA Rosie McCorley has condemned the shooting.

She said: "This morning's shooting was wrong and I condemn it unreservedly.

"My first thoughts are obviously with the family of the man who has been shot and I hope that he makes a full recovery.

“The people who carried out this attack had no regard for the local community given that many people including children were heading to and from school and work at the time of the shooting.

“I would appeal to anyone with information to bring it forward to the PSNI immediately."

SDLP west Belfast MLA Alex Attwood described the attack as a "deplorable criminal act".

Speaking after attending the scene of the attack, Mr Attwood said: "I utterly condemn this vicious attack on a busy road at rush hour in front of many people, including many children.

"I want to extend my sympathies to the family of the victim at this very difficult time and to the second person in the vehicle who I understand is being treated for shock.

“I would urge everybody in this community to keep calm and ensure that a difficult situation is not made worse in the time ahead.”

Police have diversions are in place around the scene.

Detective Inspector Pete Mullan added: “A man in his 40s sustained a gun shot wound to the head in an incident at Rossnareen Avenue shortly before 9am. 

"He was taken from the scene by car, and then transferred to an ambulance at Shaws Road.

“Two men have been arrested as part of the ongoing investigation into this incident. We are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area and witnessed the incident. Information can be given to police on the 101 non-emergency number, or anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

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