Man shot in knees and ankle in paramilitary style attack

A 28-year-old man has been shot in both knees and his ankle in a paramilitary style attack in west Belfast which police have described as "horrific".

Four children witnessed the shooting at a house in the Cavendish Street area at around 7.45pm on Saturday. A woman was also attacked during the incident.

Three men dressed in dark clothing entered the home and struck the man over the head before shooting him in both knees and his right ankle with a hand gun.

The victim was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries, where he remains.

Paul Smyth from Stop Attacks Forum, which speaks out against paramilitary violence in communities, said: “It’s a very callous act, very brutal and sadistic to do this in front of children.

“For a very young child to experience this kind of trauma is very serious and those children will need a lot of support but that’s a memory that will be with them their entire lives.

“Unfortunately these things are happening on a very regular basis across Northern Ireland. They are a legacy of our conflict but 20 years after a peace agreement it’s really unacceptable that these things are still going on.”

SDLP councillor Tim Attwood said: “I unequivocally condemn those behind this brutal attack in our city last night.

“My immediate thoughts are with the victim and their family who must be greatly distressed at this time.”

He added: “If we want to stop these people, we need to bring information forward to help the police take them off the streets. As a community we must stand together against violence.

"I appeal to anyone with any information to please bring it forward as soon as possible.”

Police are keen from anyone with information about this crime or anyone who may be able to help identify the perpetrators.

You can contact Musgrave Criminal Investigation Branch on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1064 of 30/12/17. Or alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.