Anger after masked gunmen shot dead a Northern Ireland police officer before fleeing across the border
Two gunmen who shot an off-duty police officer multiple times at a sports complex in Omagh, Co Tyrone on Wednesday are reported to have fled across the Irish border.
The senior officer was said to be coaching a football session when he was approached by the two gunmen and hit up to four times at the Youth Sport Omagh facility around 8pm.
The shooters are believed to have then fled across the border into the Republic of Ireland and a major police search is underway.
The officer was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry, where Police Chief of Northern Ireland Simon Byrne said he was in critical but stable condition.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have launched an investigation into attempted murder.
The attack was followed by a large police operation, leaving the officer in critical but stable condition
The attack happened around 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Youth Sport Omagh sports center
Temporary Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan urged anyone in the area who witnessed what happened or had any other information to call police on 101.
Irish police have stepped up their patrols amid suspicions the gunmen may have fled across the border.
In a statement, the PSNI said the officer was injured just before 8pm on Wednesday night.
“A man, a police officer on duty, was taken to hospital for treatment after being injured in a shooting at a sports complex just before 8pm this evening,” they said.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, Lake Garda said it was currently responding to an ongoing incident that occurred in Northern Ireland tonight.
“We work closely with our colleagues in the PSNI,” said a spokesman.
“An Garda Siochana has intensified patrols in the border districts.”
Mr Byrne said his thoughts were with the injured officer, his family and colleagues.
“We will relentlessly pursue those responsible,” he said. “They have nothing to offer the community.”
Tom Elliott, a member of the Ulster Unionist Assembly, said the officer was training young people when the attack took place.
“To my knowledge he was coaching young people at a local sports complex and I think they were nearing the end of the session or maybe the end of the session and at that time there were obviously some of those young people there and I was told that two masked gunmen approached him and shot him several times,” Mr Elliott told Nolan Live on BBC One NI.
“Seeing that before your eyes for young people is almost indescribable and I’m sure it will have a lasting impact on them.
“At this stage we are all clearly thinking of this police officer and his immediate family and we only hope and pray that the officer gets better.”
Liam Kelly, chairman of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, which represents ordinary officers, described the gun attack in Omagh, in which one officer fought for his life, as “barbaric and cold-blooded”.
“Two gunmen are believed to have been involved in the attack. The injured officer was shot multiple times while coaching youths to play soccer,” he said.
‘This was an insensitive, cold-blooded and barbaric attempted murder of an off-duty officer.
“The officer is well known and respected in the area and plays an active role in the community.
“He is also well known in police circles and is held in high esteem by his colleagues.
“The individuals who committed this cowardly and shocking act must be identified and arrested quickly, and I appeal to the community to help the police in any way they can.
A forensic scientist at the scene of a shooting in the Killyclogher Road area of Omagh
Police in Northern Ireland have launched an attempted murder investigation
“My thoughts and those of all police officers are with our colleague and his family. The police family is strong and resilient and we will be there for him and his family in this terrible hour of need.
The shooting was condemned by politicians across Britain and Ireland.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was appalled by the “disgraceful shooting of an off-duty police officer in Omagh”.
“My thoughts are with the officer and his family,” he said. “There is no place in our society for those who seek to harm government officials who protect communities.”
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar condemned the “grotesque act of attempted murder”.
“Our thoughts are with the injured officer, his family, colleagues and friends at this difficult time,” the Taoiseach said. “I condemn in the strongest terms this grotesque attempted murder.
“I urge anyone with information on this to share it with the PSNI.”
Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O’Neill called it an “outrageous and shameful attack.”
“My immediate thoughts are with the officer and his family,” she said. “I unreservedly condemn this reprehensible attempt to murder a police officer.”
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson described the shooting as “terrible news from Omagh”.
“Our hearts go out to this brave police officer’s family and colleagues,” he said. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the cowards responsible for this.
“These terrorists have nothing to offer and must be brought to justice. We stand with the PSNI.’
Former Stormont Attorney General Naomi Long said her thoughts are with the officer, his family, colleagues and everyone affected by the shooting.
The leader of the alliance party branded the attack an “evil act of cowardice”.
UUP leader Doug Beattie said: “A man is fighting for his life, backed by the best of our society, our doctors and nurses. I pray he survives.
“There will be much to be said in the coming days and weeks as to why anyone believes they have the authority – moral, political or otherwise – to do something so cowardly as shoot a police officer.
Tonight my thoughts are with the officer, his family, his colleagues and those caring for him.’ SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the shooting was a “deterrent attack”.
“In the face of appalling violence that has no place in modern Ireland, their bravery and selfless dedication to service is a lasting reminder that for every one determined to tear us apart, hundreds more stand ready to bring our peace and to defend all that live beneath,’ he said.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health/fury-after-masked-gunmen-shot-northern-irish-police-officer-before-fleeing-across-the-border/ Anger after masked gunmen shot dead a Northern Ireland police officer before fleeing across the border