Man shot in front of son in paramilitary-style ‘punishment’ attack

Boy who had to run to neighbours for help ‘traumatised’ by attack, say PSNI

Police recounted how the boy had to run for help from neighbours after his father was shot in both ankles. Photograph: Paul McErlane/EPA

Police recounted how the boy had to run for help from neighbours after his father was shot in both ankles. Photograph: Paul McErlane/EPA

 

Police and politicians have condemned a paramilitary-style “punishment” shooting of a man which took place in front of his young son in West Belfast on Saturday night.

Police recounted how the boy had to run for help from neighbours after his father was shot in both ankles.

“We received a report at 10:40pm that three masked men entered a house in the area and shot the male occupant, aged in his forties, in both ankles,” said Detective Inspector Kerry Brennan on Sunday.

“The man’s child ran to a neighbour’s house to raise the alarm and police subsequently attended the scene along with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service who transferred the victim to hospital . . . to undergo surgery,” she explained.

Brutal attack

“This was a brutal attack and occurred in the man’s home while his young son was present,” said Det Insp Brennan.

“This young boy was placed in a reprehensible situation and has been left traumatised by the vicious and merciless actions of these thugs who hide behind masks. This is nothing short of emotional and psychological abuse of a child,” she added.

“Nothing gives these people the right to violate the human rights of people and their actions should be condemned by all.”

She appealed for public assistance in tracing those responsible.

“Those who are involved in these attacks do not represent the interests of this community, nor do they contribute anything to it. They do it to try and exert influence, or gain control of those they claim to represent,” she said.

Sinn Féin and the SDLP condemned the shooting.