Internal UDA feud ‘behind north Belfast gun attack’

Police carry out searches in the Ballysillan and Tyndale area of north Belfast
Police carry out searches in the Ballysillan and Tyndale area of north Belfast

An internal UDA feud is suspected of being the motive for a shooting incident in north Belfast on Tuesday evening.

Around 8.10pm, a gunman opened fire on a man in the Tyndale area before running from the scene. The intended victim escaped injury.

DUP councillor Dale Pankhurst, who lives in the area, said residents are “disgusted” at those responsible.

“Everybody is disgusted by it. They want them to clear off and leave this community alone. It’s had this for so many years and it’s trying to get back on its feet now,”

North Belfast DUP MLA William Humphrey branded the attack appalling and said: “This is a random and reckless shooting in a built-up area.”

The PSNI has not confirmed if a UDA feud is their major line of inquiry but sources in the area believe a UDA faction was responsible.

Detective Inspector Rachel Wilson said: “We believe that a number of shots were fired at a man who was out walking in the Ballysillan/Tyndale Drive area, just after 8pm.

“A further shot was discharged as the gunman ran from the scene. We are appealing to anyone who saw any suspicious cars or activity in the area around the time of the shooting to get in touch with us.”

D/I Wilson added: “We would particularly like to hear from anyone who saw a tall male in his 30s or 40s in the area, dressed in a dark coat with his hood up and carrying a bag. We believe that he left the area in a car.

“We are also investigating whether there is a link between this shooting and a black Vauxhall Vectra that was found burned-out in the Old Westland Road a short time later.”

Nicola Mallon of the SDLP said: “It is shocking that someone would recklessly fire shots into a residential street.”