An attack in which a man was left in a critical condition after being shot in the head at a fast food restaurant in Northern Ireland is being treated as attempted murder.
The shooting took place on the Oldpark Road in North Belfast yesterday at around 5.40pm.
Detective chief inspector Alan Dickson, of the the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), said: “At this stage we have not yet established a motive for this attack but let me be clear, this type of criminality has no place in society.”
A vehicle matching the description of the suspected getaway car was found on fire a short distance away.
The PSNI said that it is not “at this stage” linking the attempted murder to a shooting in the New Lodge area which occurred just over two hours later.
Detectives want to hear from anyone who may have been in the Oldpark Road area around 5.35pm and who may have seen the shooting or any suspicious activity before that time.
They are also keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the Torrens Gardens area when the car was set alight.
Of the fast food restaurant shooting, detective chief inspector Dickson said: “We are currently treating this as attempted murder and are appealing for witnesses. We believe this man drove to the fast food outlet in his van and parked outside. He was shot once in the head whilst inside the premises.
“From the information we have established so far we understand that one man was involved. He made off in a blue coloured Vauxhall Astra estate car, vehicle registration number ANZ 5590, which was later found on fire in Torrens Gardens a few minutes later.”
DUP MP Nigel Dodds said the Oldpark Road shooting has been “deeply disturbing” for the community while Nationalist SDLP assembly member Alban Maginness said it is “ an indication of the barbaric mentality of the individual who carried it out”.
Sinn Fein Stormont assembly member Gerry Kelly also condemned the Oldpark shooting and a separate gun attack in north Belfast when a man was shot in both legs.
He said: “There can be no place for these type of actions in our community.
“Those responsible for these shootings are criminals and are not representative of the local communities.
“I am calling on those behind these attacks to catch themselves on, listen to the will of the local communities who want to move in and stop these actions immediately.”