Teen (18) shot in ankles in 'brutal and despicable' paramilitary style attack
An 18-year-old teenager has been shot in both ankles in a "brutal and despicable" paramilitary style attack in west Belfast.
It happened in the Pembroke Loop Road area on Saturday night at around 8:15pm.
He has been taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries which police have said are "potentially life-changing".
Detective Sergeant Wilson said: “This was a brutal and despicable attack, which has left the young victim with potentially life-changing injuries and it is yet another example of how criminal groups seek to control communities through fear and violence.
"I would appeal to anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area of Pembroke Loop Road, to contact Detectives at Musgrave Criminal Investigation Branch on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1568 23.12.17.
"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100pc anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”
SDLP councillor Brian Heading said it was "utter madness" that an attack would be carried out two days before Christmas.
He said: “This brutal attack and all forms of summary justice are opposed by this community.
“I understand that an 18-year-old man was shot in both ankles in a paramilitary style attack.
“I want to thank the emergency services for their swift action this evening. It’s utter madness that criminals would carry out an attack like this two days before Christmas.
“There remains a group of individuals who defy the will of this community for peace. Those who have brought violence onto our streets need to understand, and they need to be made to understand, that they represent no one.
“I would urge anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Pembroke Loop Road area to get in touch with the PSNI or with Crimestoppers. We need to take back our communities from these people. That can only be done if people volunteer information."