Northern Ireland news

Gunmen shoot victim in legs on busy west Belfast street

Police at the scene of Monday evening's shooting on Upper Springfield Road, west Belfast. Picture by Cliff Donaldson
Mairead Holland and Allison Morris

A MAN remains in a critical condition in hospital after being shot following a chase on a busy west Belfast street.

It is understood the victim, believed to be in his late twenties, was leaving a fast-food restaurant on Springfield Road at about 7.40pm when he saw his attackers approaching. Witnesses said the victim ran about 200 yards and jumped into the back seat of a passing car in an attempt to evade the gunmen. 

However, it is believed they caught up with him near the Kashmir Road junction and shot him repeatedly in the legs before escaping on foot along Kashmir Road.

Bullet casings were visible on the ground as police preserved the scene.

An ambulance service spokesman said: “An ambulance crew were driving along the Springfield Road when they heard a number of shots.

“They were alerted to a male patient shot a number of times in the legs. After initial treatment at the scene he was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital.”

Police said: “Police in west Belfast are... at the scene of a shooting incident in the Springfield Road area. A man is in hospital receiving treatment following the incident which was reported to police at around 7.45pm.

“There are no further details at this early stage and police enquiries are ongoing.”

Sinn Féin MLA Fra McCann said: “The is a disgraceful attack and I condemn it. 

“This brutal shooting was carried out in broad daylight and in full view of the local community.

“There is no space for this type of activity in our society. It’s wrong and unacceptable. I would urge anyone with information to bring it forward to the police.”

People Before Profit councillor Matt Collins said: “The shooting was disgraceful and must be condemned outright. It is shocking that it happened in such a built-up residential area with children and families in the vicinity.”

The victim jumped into this Vauxhall car but his attackers caught up with him. Picture by Cliff Donaldson
 

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