21/12/2011

Shots Fired At East Belfast House

Shots have been fired at a house in Madrid Street in east Belfast.

Although Christmas is now just over 72 hours away, four were fired by a man at the door of the premises shortly after 11.30pm on Tuesday.

"This is a busy street in the Short Strand area and there is no doubt that people were put at serious risk in the run-up to Christmas as a direct result of this reckless action last night," said Lord Mayor Niall O Donnaighle, adding, "this must be investigated by police".

He said the feeling in the area was that the attack "may have something to do with criminal elements".

Police said no-one in the house was injured in the attack and detectives have asked for anyone with information about the incident to contact them.

But, the Sinn Fein mayor, Mr O Donnaighle said there were children in the house when the shots were fired.

"This is a time when kids should be excited about Santa coming, not about this type of activity coming to their home," he said.

Robin Newton East Belfast DUP MLA and a member of the Policing Board has also expressed his concerns following shots being fired in Madrid Street in the Short Strand.
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"This is a serious incident in which the gunman intended either to murder his proposed victim or at least seriously injured the person.

"A person who is prepared to use a gun in a built up area is a dreadfully dangerous individual and needs to be taken off the street.

"Anyone who has information on this violent incident should provide the assistance to the police in order to keep the entire community safe," he said.

The Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has also condemned the shooting at Madrid Street on Monday night. "I don't understand what could have motivated a person to shoot at a house in which a family and children are present. Someone could have been seriously injured or killed.

"I would appeal for calm in this area and and for anyone with any information about this attack to contact the police."

The Ulster Unionist MLA Michael Copeland has also commented: "I unreservedly condemn last night's incident.

"Thankfully no-one was injured, but when illegal firearms are discharged it is obviously a matter of great concern.

"I would appeal to anyone who saw anything suspicious to contact the Police immediately and help ensure that these weapons and those who would seek to use them are taken out of circulation," he added.

(BMcC/GK)

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