Men who fired on PSNI officers were 'intent on murder'

Officers left shaken after responding to bogus burglary alert in west Belfast

Fri, May 17, 2013, 10:59

Gunmen who fired on three PSNI officers responding to a call for help in Northern Ireland were intent on murder, the force said tonight. A 26-year-old man was later arrested.

The officers were left shaken after they were lured into west Belfast by a bogus burglary alert.

A window on a car was smashed and residents dragged their children indoors following the attack in Dunmurry.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) chief inspector Darrin Jones it was “despicable that police officers who were simply trying to give assistance to a person they believed needed them should be attacked so ruthlessly.

“Simply put, this was an attempt to murder three young, professional, dedicated people.

“Three people who were just trying to carry out their duty and serve their community to the best of their ability.”Two policemen and a policewoman were targeted with gunshot.

The response crew was attending a report of a burglary in Foxes Glen at around 1pm when a number of shots were fired at them. None of the officers were injured but one of the gunshots struck a parked car.

Chief Inspector Jones added: “Inquiries have established that the original burglary call was bogus and police are treating this incident as an attempt to murder police officers.”

Dissident republicans have been responsible for a number of attacks on members of the security forces in recent times. The officer appealed for anybody with information to contact police.

“I feel extremely fortunate and incredibly grateful that those responsible for this attack failed in their goal to murder,” he said.

“We could so easily have been dealing with an unimaginable tragedy had the person or persons who pulled the trigger had their evil way.

“I pay tribute to the three officers for their bravery, their professionalism and their unshakable commitment to the police service and to the community, and I ask people in Twinbrook, Dunmurry and further afield to continue to support us and to let the people behind this reckless attack know that they do not have support and they will not succeed.”