‘Terrified’ children witness Belfast paramilitary shooting

Victim assaulted and shot three times in attack at house in west of city

Detectives are investigating the shooting in the Cavendish Street area of the city on Saturday evening. File Photograph: PA Wire

Four children have been left "terrified" after they witnessed a man being assaulted and shot three times in a paramilitary style attack in west Belfast.

Detectives are investigating the shooting in the Cavendish Street area of the city on Saturday evening.

Police received a report at 7.45pm that three men in dark clothing entered a house and struck a 28-year-old man over the head before shooting him in both knees and his right ankle with a handgun. A woman in the house was also assaulted.

Four young children who were in the house witnessed the attack.

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The victim was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries, where he remains.

PSNI Detective Sergeant Kelly said: “This was a brutal attack in a busy residential area and yet another example of how criminal groups seek to control communities through fear and violence.

“The residents including young children have been left terrified by these events”.

“Detectives are keen to hear from anyone with information about this crime or anyone who may be able to help identify the perpetrators.”

SDLP Cllr Tim Attwood condemned the attack.

“I unequivocally condemn those behind this brutal attack in our city last night.

“My immediate thoughts are with the victim and their family who must be greatly distressed at this time.

“As we celebrate the dawn of 2018 and the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement there can be no place for such brutal and violent attacks in our society.

“If we want to stop these people, we need to bring information forward to help the police take them off the streets. As a community, we must stand together against violence.

“I appeal to anyone with any information to please bring it forward as soon as possible.”