Northern Ireland

West Belfast shooting: Distillery Court attack was 'attempted murder'

Shooting scene Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Police at the scene of the shooting in west Belfast

A man has been shot several times in a gun attack in west Belfast which police are treating as attempted murder.

The 28-year-old victim was shot in the head, arm, chest and leg during the attack in a house at Distillery Court at about 09:45 BST on Friday.

Sources told the BBC that the injured man was "extremely lucky to be alive".

The officer leading the investigation, Det Insp Chris Wilson, said: "The victim is undergoing surgery and we believe he will pull through."

He said police believed two people were involved in carrying out the attack.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The injured man was taken to hospital by ambulance

A neighbour who went to the victim's aid told the BBC that the injured man managed to stagger outside his house.

He was then taken to hospital by ambulance.

The attackers escaped towards the Grosvenor Road and police have appealed for information about a man seen running along Distillery Street, onto the Grosvenor Road and into Leeson Street shortly after the shooting.

"He was well-groomed with a ginger beard and was wearing a blue tracksuit with the hood up, a hat and leather gloves," Mr Wilson said.

"Although we are following a number of lines of enquiry in this investigation, we are keeping an open mind as to a motive," the investigating officer added.

Image caption The shooting was in the Distillery Court area of west Belfast

Condemning the attack, the MP for the area, Sinn Féin's Paul Maskey, said those responsible needed to be taken off the streets.

SDLP councillor Tim Attwood said: "This act of violence is beneath contempt.

"This can only happen if anyone with information comes forward to the police. We cannot allow the threat of violence to continue to plague the streets of west Belfast."