Father and daughter 'critical' after shooting in north Belfast


A FATHER and his daughter were critically ill in hospital last night after they were shot in an attack in north Belfast.

The 47-year-old man and his 18- year-old daughter were shot as they were about to get into a car at Evelyn Gardens, Skegoniell, at about 8.30am.

The chief investigating officer, PSNI Det Chief Insp Karen Baxter, said two men were involved. It is believed that one of the men, wearing a balaclava, got out of a van that had driven close to the victims and fired five shots at them.

It is understood the father of the teenager was about to drive her to school when they were attacked. Both were shot at very close range.

The vehicle believed used in the shooting was later discovered burning at Ballymoney Street, also in north Belfast.

The man suffered very severe chest injuries while the woman was wounded in the stomach and hand. The victims were brought to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where the woman’s condition was said to be critical but stable while her father’s condition was said to be critical and life-threatening.

Det Chief Insp Baxter said it was “much too early” to say what the motive was for the shooting.

Condemning the attack, the local SDLP Assembly member Alban Maginness said people were shocked and upset at the incident.

“Whatever the circumstances, nobody has the right to engage in action like this,” he said. “Anyone with information about the attack should bring it to the police.”

North Belfast DUP MLA Nelson McCausland said the shooting was “an appalling act of lawlessness” carried out by people with no respect for life.

“Whatever purpose lies behind this attack it must be condemned by all right-thinking people,” he said. “There can be no justification for the use of guns by people intent on murder or serious injury.

“These shots were fired in a residential street when local people were setting out for the day,” Mr McCausland added. “Any passing person could have been seriously injured or killed. The entire incident is deeply upsetting for local residents.”

North Belfast Sinn Féin councillor Mary Ellen Campbell also called for anyone with information to go to the PSNI.

“It is early days and circumstances are unclear, other than the fact that two people have been seriously injured in this attack.

“It is very worrying that guns have been brought on to the streets and there can be no justification for this type of activity,” she said.

“This is a quiet residential area and local people are shocked that this should happen on their doorstep. Whoever is behind this attack has shown utter disregard for this community, placing residents and, given the time of morning, school children in danger.”

Local Alliance councillor Billy Webb said it was a “vicious and cruel attack on two people in a residential area”.