Police officer shot and wounded in north Belfast

A police officer has been shot and wounded in north Belfast, police said.

Police officer shot and wounded in north Belfast

A police officer has been shot and wounded in north Belfast, police said.

The attack happened at a petrol station on the Crumlin Road.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) tweeted: "Officer shot and wounded at petrol station around 7.30pm."

The road has been closed while police investigate.

Mark Lindsay, chairman of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, confirmed the officer was shot in the arm during a gun attack.

He said: "This is an appalling act, and I wish to condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

"This attack on the life of an officer is a stark reminder of the determination on the part of terrorists to murder and maim police officers.

"They believe that by causing great grief to a family they are somehow advancing their warped and outdated plan. The wider community will be outraged by this attack on one of their police officers.

"The police serve the entire community and wounding one individual is an attack on the entire community."

He said the attack underlined the fragility of the peace.

"It’s one reason why the threat level here remains classed ’severe’ which means a terrorist attack is highly likely.

"Officers already exercise great vigilance and I would appeal to them to remain at high alert."

The Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said it was a terrorist shooting and added that their thoughts were with the officer and his family.

Dissident republicans have attempted to kill members of the security forces in Northern Ireland in recent years.

Democratic Unionist MP Nigel Dodds said it was a despicable act.

Mr Dodds said: "This is a deeply disturbing incident which echoes back to the kind of terrorism we used to face on a daily basis.

"My thoughts are with the officer who has been injured and I pray that the injuries sustained are not life-threatening and they can make a full recovery.

"These are scenes that we should all want to move away from in Northern Ireland. We must be mindful how a threat to the future of the political institutions can create a vacuum, which terrorists such as these will seek to fill.

"We must all stand against those who wish to use threats, intimidation and violence to further their political ends.

"It is vital we all stand against such activity and work to move Northern Ireland forward."

SDLP assembly member Nichola Mallon said those responsible were calculating criminals, intent on destabilising a community which continues to make strides toward reconciliation, who will be rejected by local people.

She said: "Those responsible for this attack, not only on the individual involved, but on the progress that north Belfast has made must be brought to justice.

"This community has rejected the men of violence before and it will do so again. There will be no cover given to those who seek to destabilise our progress and bring mayhem back to our streets."

Senior Sinn Féin assembly member Gerry Kelly said it was a drive-by shooting and the officer’s injuries were not life-threatening.

"I hope that the injured officer will make a full and speedy recovery," he said.

"Those responsible for this attack are the same people who are attacking the local community.

"They have absolutely nothing to offer society and need to call a halt to these activities immediately.

"I would call on anyone with information on this incident to bring it forward to the PSNI."

The attack comes as Northern Ireland prepares for fresh elections after the collapse of powersharing.

Former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness resigned in protest over a botched green energy scheme which is predicted to leave taxpayers millions out of pocket.

Dissident republicans opposed to peace have killed police, prison officers and soldiers in the past.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence