Northern Ireland news

Man 'critically ill' after being shot in west Belfast

Bimpe Archer
19 November, 2015 09:43

A MAN in his forties is "critically ill" in hospital after being shot in the Shaws Road area of west Belfast.

The man, named locally as Martin Gavin, was shot after gunmen, dressed as council workers, targeted his car outside his Rossnareen Avenue home.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the shooting.

The victim, believed to be a member of the Travelling community, remains in intensive care at the city's Royal Victoria Hospital.


Video from the scene of the shooting

A woman, who was in the black Vauxhall Zafira car with him, drove the vehicle away from the shooting and onto the nearby Shaws Road, where ambulance crews arrived to treat the father-of-three.

It happened at around 9am when the road was busy with parents taking children to the nearby Bunscoil Phobal Feirste and its associated nursery.

Although there was a child seat in the car, it is understood that there were no children in the vehicle at the time of the attack.

A neighbour said he saw two men dressed as council workers fleeing the street in a silver Vauxhall Zafira after the shooting.

"There was a loud bang which got me out of my bed - to be honest I thought it sounded like a bomb," Ryan said.

"I looked out the window and saw them. They were dressed like council workers, you know in the big overcoats, cold weather, puffy and florescent. They got into their car and made a run for it up the street."

Neighbours said that Mr Gavin, who is a member of the Travelling community, and his family had moved into the house at the beginning of the year and had "kept himself to himself".

However, one neighbour, who asked not to be named, said there had been "problems with him and his family" and spoke of a "family feud".

Jacqueline McConnell, who lives close by on Rossnareen Road, said he "kept himself to himself".

"His children attended the Traveller school and a bus would come round to collect them and take them there every day," she said.

West Belfast Sinn Fein assembly member Pat Sheehan said he was walking his three and a half-year-old daughter to nursery when he came upon the Shaws Road scene.

"I arrived after it happened. (Mr Gavin) was in the sear of the car. It had been driven here to get away from the person who did the shooting.

"The ambulance arrived quite quickly. The woman with him was in shock. He had been shot in the head. There was a lot of blood but he was still conscious when they were putting him into the ambulance.

"There were a lot of children around because of the naiscoil and bunscoil so close by and it was nine o'clock. There were children walking past."

19 November, 2015 09:43 Northern Ireland news

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