31/08/2001

Man arrested following shooting attack in Dungannon

Police in Dungannon are investigating the circumstances of the shooting of a 31-year-old man at Bellavale Terrace in Coalisland shortly before 8.00pm on Thursday evening.

Police later arrested the wounded man in hospital on suspicion of drugs offences.

He was hit in the shoulder twice when a number of shots were fired outside a house in Coalisland. The man managed to drive off in his car before being later driven by his wife to Dungannon RUC station where police gave the man first aid. He was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital by ambulance before being moved to a Belfast hospital.

It is not thought that the man’s injuries are serious.

While the provisional IRA was blamed for the shooting by a local SDLP Councillor, the shooting was later claimed by the Red Hand Defenders, a claim which is being investigated by police.

Acting Chief Inspector Alwyn Barton said the family had a lucky escape: “It is completely reprehensible, it is deplorable, that in this day and age someone will walk up to a vehicle in which there is a man and his two young children, a seven-year-old and an 11-year-old, and open fire on that vehicle injuring the man and most certainly endangering the lives of everyone in the vehicle.”

The man has been targeted in the past, neighbours said that two friends of the man had been shot dead in previous attacks, and that the injured man had survived a previous shooting attempt. (SP)

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