Tuesday 18 December 2018

Man killed in Belfast shooting - children witnessed horrifying attack

Armed police arrive at the scene of a murder in the Glenbawn Avenue area of Poleglass in west Belfast on February 13th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Armed police arrive at the scene of a murder in the Glenbawn Avenue area of Poleglass in west Belfast on February 13th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Jonathan Bell

Young children witnessed the "brutal and horrifying" killing of a man in a shooting in Belfast, the MP for the area said.

Police and the emergency services are currently at the scene on Glenbawn Avenue in Poleglass.

It happened around 8pm.

It is understood a gunman entered a house in the area with a shotgun before opening fire on the resident in the living room.

The victim is thought to be aged in his 30s.

Scores of heavily armed police swarmed to the scene within moments of the attack.

MP for the area Paul Maskey described the attack as "brutal and horrifying".

He told the Belfast Telegraph: "It is a brutal attack that was carried out in front of young children.

"This has to be condemned outright. There is no call for this, it is shocking, it is horrifying. The community is horrified.

"This action has to be stopped and stopped immediately.

"My thoughts are with the man's family."

The SDLP has criticised Sinn Fein and DUP for creating the political vacuum to allow attacks such as this to happen.

"I am not sure why this person has been attacked," added Mr  Maskey.

"What I do know is people are working for peace and have been for some time.

"This action is totally uncalled for and should be left in the past. There is not a place for it."

Sinn Fein councillor Stephen Magennis has spoken to the victim's family and friends.

"They are obviously devastated and in a state of shock," he said.

"This community is stunned and outraged at this latest brutal killing.

“There can be absolutely no justification for this murder which was carried out in the most brutal fashion.

“The people carrying out these attacks are bringing nothing but death and destruction. They need to be condemned and should get off the backs of this community.

“I would appeal to anyone who has any information about this attack to bring it to the PSNI.”

The SDLP's Tim Attwood said there was shock and anger among the community at the incident.

"While the exact circumstances of what happened here this evening are unknown, what we must always be sure of, is that murder is wrong," he said.

"Those who think they can take the lives of others into their own hands are wrong. Leaving a family and a community paralysed with fear that this could happen on their doorstep is wrong."

SDLP councillor Brian Heading also condemned the attack.

"This was not a punishment attack, this was a shooting with the intent to kill," he said.

"The entire community in west Belfast is in shock this evening. These are scenes that we thought we had left far behind us.

“Those responsible for this monstrous criminal act must be caught and they must be brought to justice. There is no room in this city or in this society for those intent on murder and mayhem and who will commit the most heinous crimes.

“I’m calling on anyone with information to please come forward to police. These thugs cannot be allowed to bully this strong community into silence. They cannot dominate us, we cannot let them.”

He added: "Obviously I condemn the attack, but it has to go deeper than that and I condemn the two main parties for creating the political vacuum to exist.

"They need to be aware their failure is resulting in people who settle their differences by shooting first and asking questions later being allowed to terrorise their communities.

"A man is dead tonight and because of the political vacuum we can expect more of this."

Belfast Telegraph

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