PSNI issue stinging statement after brutal paramilitary-style shooting of man in front of young son

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Police have appealed for witnesses after the merciless shooting of a man in front of his young son.

Detectives investigating a paramilitary-style attack in west Belfast last night where a man was shot in both ankles in his home when his young son was present have appealed for witnesses and information.

Brooke Drive where the shooting took place

Brooke Drive where the shooting took place

Detective Inspector Kerry Brennan said: "We received a report at 10.40pm that three masked men entered a house in the area and shot the male occupant, aged in his forties, in both ankles.

"The man's child ran to a neighbour's house to raise the alarm and police subsequently attended the scene, along with the NIAS who transferred the victim to hospital where he remains this morning to undergo surgery.

"This was a brutal attack and occurred in the man's home while his young son was present.

"This young boy was placed in a reprehensible situation and has been left traumatised by the vicious and merciless actions of these thugs who hide behind masks. This is nothing short of emotional and psychological abuse of a child.

"Nothing gives these people the right to violate the human rights of people and their actions should be condemned by all.

"Those who are involved in these attacks do not represent the interests of this community, nor do they contribute anything to it. They do it to try and exert influence, or gain control of those they claim to represent.

"No one has the right to violate the rights of others.

“Our investigation is underway and we are working to establish a motive for this horrific attack.

“I want to take this opportunity to appeal to anyone with any information about this attack to pick up the phone and tell us what you know. I would also appeal to anyone who noticed three men in the area at around 10:35pm and leave at around 10:40pm to call our detectives at Musgrave on 101 quoting reference number 2027 of 12/10/19.

"Information can also be given anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Meanwhile Sinn Fein Councillor Stephen Magennis has condemned the shooting of a man in the Brooke Drive area of West Belfast last night.

He said: "There is no place for these type of actions in our society.

"I've said for a long time now there is no place in society for the armed gangs behind these attacks.

"The message needs to be heard loud and clear in the community that these groups need to halt these attacks immediately.

“Anyone with information should bring it forward to the PSNI.”