North Belfast: Westland Way gun attack was attempted murder, say police

Police set up cordons near the scene of the shooting
Image caption,
Police are carrying out searches and door-to-door inquiries near the scene of the shooting in Westland Way

A gun attack in north Belfast in which a man was shot in the back is being treated as attempted murder, the police have confirmed.

The victim, who is in his 30s, was shot in Westland Way at about 00:20 BST on Tuesday.

He was admitted to hospital but his condition is not known.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said that the suspected gunman fled the area on foot towards Westland Road.

He was described as being dressed in dark clothing, with a mask on and a hood drawn tightly over his face.

Police have appealed for anyone who was in the area at the time and saw anything, or who may have dashcam or other footage, to contact them.

When asked if detectives had identified a possible motive for the shooting, a PSNI spokeswoman said: "At this time, enquiries remain ongoing."

Image caption,
Several alleyways have been cordoned off in the area

The attack was condemned by North Belfast assembly members from both the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin.

"It is appalling that a man has been shot in the back and has sustained serious injuries," said the DUP's Brian Kingston.

"My thoughts are with the victim and his family circle.

The assembly member added: "Any incident in which guns are used on our streets is reckless and deeply upsetting for the entire local community. Those responsible must be brought to justice."

Image caption,
A number of police vehicles remained in Westland Way on Tuesday morning while the investigation continued

Sinn Féin's Carál Ní Chuilín, said local people had been left shocked.

"The shooting of a man in Westland Way this morning was wrong, and I condemn it," she said.

"There is absolutely no place for guns on our streets."