Northern Ireland

East Belfast community 'disturbed by shooting'

Albertbridge Road
Image caption Marc Ringland died during an attempted robbery at a petrol station on Albertbridge Road

The death of Marc Ringland has "disturbed the entire community in east Belfast", it has been claimed.

The 29-year-old was shot dead by an off-duty police officer during an attempted robbery at a petrol station on Albertbridge Road on Thursday.

Alliance MP, Naomi Long, said the shooting was a "tragic and traumatic" situation for all involved.

"It is also very disturbing for people living and working in the wider area," she added.

"I would urge anyone who may have witnessed the incident or the events leading up to it to come forward to the ombudsman to assist them with their investigation."

East Belfast DUP MLA Robin Newton said the families involved were foremost in his thoughts and revealed that his son had experienced a violent holdup while working in the same filling station.

"This was a disturbing and troubling experience for him which took some time to get over. Therefore I am particularly mindful of those people who were working in the filling station at the time of this incident."

'Better system'

SDLP policing spokesperson Dominic Bradley MLA has said there should be no rush to judgement about the shooting while the Policing Ombudsman's office is investigating the case.

"Far too often in the past there was a rush to judgement and justification or condemnation immediately after every incident," he said.

"We now have a better system with the Ombudsman immediately taking charge of both the investigation scene and release of information. While this work is being done, it is best if speculative comment is avoided."

Independent Assembly member for the area Dawn Purvis called for a full investigation.

"While the details of this incident are not yet clear, the one thing we can be sure of is that there are several families suffering with the ramifications of this shooting," she said.

"I regret deeply the loss of life and my thoughts go to the families at the heart of this incident. "

Sinn Fein Assembly member Alex Maskey, who sits on the Policing Board, said he was in contact with police over the shooting.

"This is obviously an issue of the utmost seriousness and one which must be investigated fully by the Police Ombudsman's Office," he said.

Ulster Unionist Policing Board Member Basil McCrea, said the incident was "undoubtedly a tragedy for all concerned".

More on this story