Northern Ireland

Belfast police raid: Witness describes dramatic arrest operation after shooting

Police arrest man at Aspen Walk Image copyright Kevin Scott
Image caption A police officer aimed a gun at a man's head during the raid on a house at Aspen Walk

A woman who was caught up in a police raid has described the "frightening" moment officers ordered her out of a west Belfast house at gunpoint.

Armed police targeted the property at Aspen Walk in Twinbrook in the early hours of Wednesday after a man was shot in the leg in nearby Glasvey Drive.

An officer pointed a gun to a man's head during the Aspen Walk operation.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. The woman who witnessed the raid was not detained.

She was first to leave the house when armed police ordered all those inside to come out one by one.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, told BBC Newsline: "They told us all to put our hands up in the air and everybody to walk out, one at a time and 'drop your weapons'."

Image caption The woman, who did not want to be identified, spoke to BBC reporter Mark Simpson
Image copyright Kevin Scott
Image caption The raid happened after a man was shot in the leg on Tuesday night

She described seeing "red dots" from the police weapons as she came out of the house.

"I was really, really frightened," she added.

The unarmed woman said she was holding a mobile phone and one of the officers told her to put her "weapon" down.

The armed response unit was investigating the Glasvey Drive shooting in which a 41-year-old man was seriously injured.

A police helicopter was deployed before the suspects, aged 25 and 35, were arrested.

Image copyright Kevin Scott
Image caption Armed officers traced two men to the house with the help of a police helicopter

They both remain in police custody and officers have been carrying out searches in Aspen Walk.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland detective said: "A motive for this attack has not yet been established.

Image copyright Kevin Scott
Image caption Two men were arrested during the raid on suspicion of attempted murder

"I would appeal to anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that would assist with our investigation to contact detectives in Lisburn police station."

Photographs taken at the scene by photographer Kevin Scott show the raid on the house.

Image caption Police officers carried out searches of the house at Aspen Walk on Wednesday morning