Northern Ireland news

Victim's family demand answers over police shooting

A Derry man who was shot and wounded by police on Saturday is making a steady recovery in hospital. Picture by Pacemaker
Seamus McKinney

The family of a man shot and seriously wounded by police have demanded to know why “lethal force” was used in the situation.

The man, aged in his 40s, was in a stable condition at the Royal Victoria Hospital where he is being treated for a gunshot wound to his chest. The victim was shot by a police officer in what was described as a “confrontation” at his home at Celandine Court in Derry's Gobnascale area last Saturday night. He has since been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

A police officer suffered stab wounds to his arm and head during the incident and was released from hospital after treatment. It was also revealed that police used CS spray during the incident.

It is being investigated by the Police Ombudsman's office which has confirmed that the shooting victim's family have now lodged an official complaint with them about the police actions.

Solicitor Ciaran Shiels said the family wanted to know exactly what happened in the flat where their brother lived alone.

“He's on the mend and there's a hope that he'll be released (from hospital) within the week,” Mr Shiels said.

The lawyer said the family wished to know why one police officer felt CS spray was the appropriate way of dealing with the situation while a second officer felt it was right to shoot their brother with “a sidearm”. Mr Shiels said there were a number of confusing issues surrounding the incident, including a report that police went to a separate flat before going to the victim's home and that they were present in the victim's home for some time before the shooting incident occurred.

Mr Shiels said: “It's been a very distressing time for the whole family.”

He confirmed that the victim has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder but said his family have sought clarity from police about the charge.

“The family want to know exactly what was the reason for lethal force to be used against their brother. What the family want to know is what was the exact nature of the confrontation that took place with officers.”

Mr Shiels said the victim was a “vulnerable individual”. He said his family were keen that the incident be investigated as quickly as possible and have appealed to police to cooperate fully with the Ombudsman investigators.

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