Northern Ireland news

Police treating north Belfast shooting as attempted murder

The man was shot in Mount Vernon on Saturday night. Picture by Pacemaker

POLICE are treating a "reckless and callous" shooting incident in north Belfast at the weekend as attempted murder.

The 51-year-old man was targeted at a house in the Mount Vernon Park area at around 8.50pm on Saturday.

Police said when the man answered a knock at the front door, he was shot once in the chest with what is believed to have been a handgun.

Detective Inspector Michael McDonnell said the injured man was "taken to hospital for treatment: his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening at this time.

"This was a reckless and callous act, and certainly an attempt to kill this man in cold blood," he said.

"There were four other people in the house at the time of the shooting who could have easily been caught up in the violence.

"The person or people who carried out this murderous attempt had no regard for any of them - or for the neighbours and local people who were in the area, enjoying the late evening sunshine".

DI McDonnell said it was believed the gun man got out of a black-coloured three-door Renault Clio with distinctive, heavily-tinted rear windows.

He said officers were trying to trace its movements between 7pm and 10pm on Saturday night in the Mount Vernon area.

North Belfast DUP assembly member William Humphrey said he was "shocked and appalled" by the shooting.

"I hope that the victim's injuries are not life-threatening and that he will be able to make a full and speedy recovery," he said.

“This constituency has suffered enough over the years. We neither want nor need this criminal activity on our streets and it must be ended.

“I urge anyone who can assist the police investigation to bring forward whatever information they have".

Sinn Féin assembly member Gerry Kelly condemned the shooting, which he described as "concerning".

"There is no place for guns on our streets no matter which area it is or which organisation is involved," he said.

"I condemn this shooting and would appeal to anyone with information to bring it to the PSNI".

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