Crimestoppers offer £150k reward for information over attempted murder of DCI John Caldwell

A record award has been offered for information on the attempted murder of PSNI Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell.

Crimestoppers charity said anonymous donors wanted to contribute which allowed them to be in the position to offer £150,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those reponsible.

It is one of the highest amounts every offered by the charity.

Mr Caldwell was shot in Omagh outside a sports complex on February 22.

He was packing a bag into his car boot with his son after taking a coaching session. The New IRA has been blamed.

At a press conference on Wednesday, two weeks on from the shooting, Mick Duthie, Crimestoppers Director of Operations, said there had been shock at the attack.

"As a father of young children myself and a children’s football coach also, this attack really resonates with me. We are pleased to offer this £150,000 reward for information, thanks to the generosity of donors."

During a press conference Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan revealed that Mr Caldwell remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Officers also released fresh CCTV footage of a second vehicle, Chief Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan said: “I am now in a position to say that I believe a second Ford Fiesta was used in the attempted murder of DCI Caldwell.

"It is also a blue Ford Fiesta of a similar model. This second car had registration number

RLZ 9805 and was bought in Glengormley towards the end of January. I believe this car travelled to Belfast around this date."

"It was then driven from Belfast at approximately 1pm on Wednesday February 22, the day of the attack on John, and travelled along the M1 in the direction of Coalisland and Omagh.

"It was found burnt-out in the Ardboe industrial estate the following day."

New CCTV was released of the first vehicle, also a Ford Fiesta, leaving Coalisland, Co Tyrone, the night of February 21.

Detective Eamonn Corrigan has reiterated that the PSNI's main line of inquiry is that the attack was carried out by the New IRA.

"I am aware of speculation around the background of those involved...the background of the people involved is either terrorists nature, organised crime or both but this attack was carried out by the New IRA and that is our main line on inquiry."

Eight people have been arrested in connection with the investigation into the attack. All have been released without charge.

At a Policing Board meeting last week, Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan said a number of those arrested were from a Protestant background with links to dissident republicans.

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