Victim of 'brutal' shooting was hit over head with hammer

The scene of a shooting in Whiterock, west Belfast on January 19
The scene of a shooting in Whiterock, west Belfast on January 19
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A man shot in both legs and ankles in Belfast on Friday night was struck over the head with a hammer by his attackers.

A number of men entered a house in the Whiterock Drive area of Belfast before targeting the 24-year-old.

Two females who were in the property at the time witnessed the attack.

Detective Inspector Michael McDonnell said: “Police received a report at around 7:10pm that a number of males in dark clothing had entered a house and struck a man over the head with a hammer before shooting him in both knees and both ankles in a rear yard.

“The victim was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries, which are serious and potentially life-changing.

“Two females, a 17-year old and a 21-year-old who were in the property at the time and who witnessed this horrific attack, were left extremely shaken.

“This was a brutal and callous attack in a residential area where other residents or passers-by could have been injured. It is yet another example of how criminal groups seek to control communities through fear and violence.

“I would appeal to anyone with information about this incident, or anyone who may be able to help identify the attackers, to contact Musgrave Criminal Investigation Branch on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1189 of 19/1/18.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers.