Up to 10 shots were fired in an attack during which two men were injured in north Belfast, police said.
The men were taken to hospital following the shooting in the Oldpark Road area of North Belfast on Friday evening just before 7.30pm.
Police said up to 10 shots were fired at a man standing beside a Seat Toledo car. The 24-year-old, and a 22-year-old man who was sitting in the car, were said to be in a serious but stable condition in hospital on Saturday.
North Belfast Area Commander, Chief Inspector Andy Freeburn, condemned the shooting, describing it as “reckless and callous”.
He said around 40 people in the area were put in danger by the incident.
He said: “This was an utterly reckless attack with up to 40 members of the public, including women and children, in close proximity. Two people have been very seriously injured but we are lucky that we are not dealing with many more casualties today.
“This type of attack is unacceptable in our community - no one deserves to be hurt or injured in this way and no one has the right to put the safety of so many at risk.
“An investigation into this incident was launched immediately and an enquiry team will now work to ascertain the exact details and circumstances of this shooting. We will do everything we can to find those responsible and bring them before the courts. The help of the local community is vital in helping us create a clear picture of this attack and we would ask for their support as we conduct our enquiries.”
Referring to the shooting of an 18-year-old in Belfast earlier this week, Sinn Fein Stormont MLA Gerry Kelly said: “This is the second shooting in North Belfast within the last week and has to be condemned. There is no place for these gun gangs in our community and the people do not want them.”
“This shooting damages the community and the people behind them need to stop.”
A spokeswoman for the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast said one of the victims was in the operating theatre. The other man is being assessed in the emergency department.
Nationalist SDLP councillor Nichola Mallon said she was repulsed by the attack.
“The spread of gunshots in a busy built-up residential area in the early evening shows a reckless regard for people living here,” she said.
“This latest incident represents not just an attack on the two men who have been shot but on the wider community. Those that resort to such cowardly and violent attacks have no place and serve no purpose for the people of North Belfast.
“We are seeing a worrying disregard for human life and an escalation of street violence which is totally unacceptable.
Police have appealed for information.