Arrest after man fires shot at police car

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A 46-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a police car was shot at in north Belfast on Christmas night.

The incident happened after police received a report of a man being assaulted by another man in the Highfern Gardens area just before 9.40pm.

Police were in the process of locating the alleged assailant in the Heath Lodge Close area when he came out of a house, pointed a firearm and shot at the police car.

No officers were injured. The man was arrested a short time later on suspicion of attempted murder, common assault, threats to kill and possession of a firearm.

He currently remains in custody assisting police with their enquiries. A firearm and ammunition was subsequently recovered following a search.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said: “Last night’s incident underlines the risks police officers face 365 days a year working to keep people safe. Fortunately the officers in the car weren’t hurt, but we could have been looking at a very different situation this morning.

“I would like to take this opportunity to put on record my appreciation for the courage and professionalism of the officers and would appeal for anyone who witnessed the incident to contact detectives at Musgrave Police Station on the non-emergency number 101. 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.”