Gun attack in republican Belfast district branded ‘shameful’

The scene of the shooting
The scene of the shooting

The shooting of a man in his 20s has been described as “shameful” by a nationalist politician.

Detectives in Belfast are appealing for witnesses after the incident in the Laurelbank area of Poleglass on Sunday.

The scene of the shooting

The scene of the shooting

Poleglass is a republican-dominated district on the south-western edge of Belfast.

Detective Sergeant Michael Hawthorne said in a statement: “At around 10.10pm a man in his 20s was approached by four masked men in an entryway who ordered him to lie down prior to shooting him through the foot.

“He was later taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening.

“I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this incident to contact detectives at Musgrave on 101 quoting serial 1290 24/7/16.

The young man being conveyed to an ambulance

The young man being conveyed to an ambulance

“Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

SDLP Belfast councillor Brian Heading noted that sthe shooting came the night before the Poleglass community plans to pay their last respects to mother-of-three Valerie Armstrong, who was killed after being struck by a scrambler motorbike in west Belfast’s Colin Glen park on Wednesday, July 20.

Branding the attack the work of “cowards” whose methods have been “rejected by the vast majority”, councillor Heading said: “At a time when this community is in mourning and preparing to pay respects to a loved mother and neighbour, the last thing we need is more tragedy here.

“This was a shameful crime and those responsible must be brought to justice. I would encourage anyone with any information to bring it to the police as soon as possible.”

Forensics officers comb the area

Forensics officers comb the area

Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann said that the attack “was wrong and I condemn it”.