Man shot in back in north Belfast by masked man

MLAs have condemned a gun attack after a man was shot in the back.

The community was said to be in shock over the brutality of the incident.

The victim, aged in his 30s, was shot in his back in the Westland Way area of north Belfast.

Police received a report of a shooting shortly before 12.20am on Tuesday morning.

The victim has since been taken to hospital for his injuries.

North Belfast DUP MLA Brian Kingston condemned the incident.

"It is appalling that a man has been shot in the back and has sustained serious injuries, in an incident which the police are treating as attempted murder," he said.

"I condemn this shooting without equivocation. My thoughts are with the victim and his family circle.

"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. I appeal to anyone who can assist the police investigation to bring forward any information that they may have.”

Speaking about the incident in north Belfast, Detective Sergeant Dougherty said: "A suspect, described as slim and dressed all in dark clothing with a mask on and a hood drawn tight over his face, is believed to have fled the area on foot in the direction of Westland Road.

"Our enquiries into this incident are ongoing and we would appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time and saw anything, or who may have dashcam or other footage, to contact police on 101 quoting reference 22 of 24/5/22."

Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has said that local people were shocked after a man has been shot in a gun attack in the Westland Way area of North Belfast. The North Belfast MLA said: “The shooting of a man in Westland Way this morning was wrong, and I condemn it. “There is absolutely no place for guns on our streets. “I would appeal to anyone with information on this shooting to bring it forward to the PSNI.”

Last night, PSNI Air Support confirmed it had been 'supporting officers' in north Belfast.

The shooting follows reports of violence at interface areas in the north of the city for a second night in a row.

Councillor Paul McCusker, who is also a community worker, said that local residents were reporting that people were carrying weapons and 'it's frightening for them to witness.'

"If this doesn’t stop someone will get seriously hurt and those involved need to be aware that no one supports this," Cllr McCusker said.

"Young people need to be aware of the dangers being involved in this and if arrested by police they could get a criminal record. "We need all political and community reps to work together to help put a stop to this before it escalates and police to increase patrols and have more presence across all interfaces."

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