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'Vicious' paramilitary-style shooting of man in west Belfast sparks outrage

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PSNI officers checking the scene of the shooting on Monagh Road as they search for forensic clues

PSNI officers checking the scene of the shooting on Monagh Road as they search for forensic clues

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

PSNI officers checking the scene of the shooting on Monagh Road as they search for forensic clues

PSNI officers checking the scene of the shooting on Monagh Road as they search for forensic clues

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Gerry Carroll

Gerry Carroll

PSNI officers checking the scene of the shooting on Monagh Road as they search for forensic clues

Those responsible for shooting a man in the legs in west Belfast showed "callous disregard, for the community", Sinn Fein MLA Pat Sheehan has said.

The victim, aged in his 20s, was shot a number of times in both legs and was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries, which are not believed to be life-threatening.

Police are now appealing for information following the shooting, which took place in the Monagh Road area of the city.

The attack comes less than two weeks after the murder of Kieran Wylie (57) in his Lenadoon home in west Belfast on Sunday, May 17. Dissident republicans are suspected of carrying out the killing.

Mr Sheehan described Thursday's shooting as a "brutal attack".

"Those responsible have shown a callous disregard for our community, particularly at a time when we are battling a public health emergency," he said.

"There is no place for this type of activity in our society and I would urge anyone with information to bring it forward to the PSNI."

People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll said shootings such as Thursday's and the killing of Mr Wylie were a major worry for people.

"The fact that we have witnessed another shooting in west Belfast so shortly after Kieran Wylie was tragically killed should concern all of us," he said.

"Guns and brutal shootings like the one carried out in the early hours of the morning on the Monagh Road offer nothing to our communities."

Local SDLP representative Paul Doherty called for anyone with information to pass it on to the PSNI.

He said: "The people responsible for this savage attack aren't wanted in west Belfast.

"People here have rejected violence and want to live in peace.

Today we have another young man in hospital, shot several times in the legs. That is not the kind of community people here want.

"I would urge anyone with information to assist the police.

"We need to get these people and these weapons off our streets."

Detective Sergeant Eric Fairfield said shortly after midnight on Thursday police received a report that a man had been shot in both legs in an alleyway near shops on Monagh Road.

"This has all the hallmarks of a paramilitary-style shooting," he added.

"It was a planned, vicious and brutal attack, which is completely unacceptable in today's society.

"I am appealing to anyone with information that could assist our investigation to contact detectives at Musgrave on 101, quoting reference number 28 28/05/20."

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.

Earlier this month the PSNI revealed an annual drop in the number of paramilitary-style shootings.

According to police figures, there were 13 casualties of paramilitary-style shootings between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020.

That was down from 19 victims in the previous year.

Belfast Telegraph