Family's shock at city shooting

Published Saturday, 16 February 2013
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The uncle of one of two men repeatedly shot in north Belfast on Friday has said he was 'sickened' to learn he had been targeted in a gun attack.

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The incident happened at Oldpark Road shortly before 7.30pm on Friday.

Up to 10 shots were fired at 24-year-old Sean Corbett who had just left a shop and was standing beside a Seat Toledo car.

He was taken to the Mater hospital and he later received emergency surgery.

His uncle Darren Corbett said he felt sick when he heard the news.

"His mother is in a bad way," he told UTV. "Nobody knows what to think. He's only a young kid."

He said he doesn't know why his nephew was targeted by the gunman.

"Nobody knows if it is a paramilitary group, nobody knows whether it is a feud between him and somebody else."

Another man, aged 22, who was inside the car, was also shot multiple times.

He drove himself to hospital where he was also treated for gunshot wounds.

Both men are currently in a stable condition.

Police have described the incident as a "reckless and callous attack" which put up to 40 people at risk, including women and children.

"This type of attack is unacceptable in our community - no one deserves to be hurt or injured in this way and no one has the right to put the safety of so many at risk," North Belfast Area Commander, Chief Inspector Andy Freeburn said.

Two people have been very seriously injured but we are lucky that we are not dealing with many more casualties today.

CI Andy Freeburn

A police investigation has been launched and an enquiry team is looking into the circumstances of the shooting.

"We will do everything we can to find those responsible and bring them before the courts," CI Freeburn continued.

"The help of the local community is vital in helping us create a clear picture of this attack and we would ask for their support as we conduct our enquiries.

"I would appeal to anyone with information to contact detectives in North Belfast on 0845 600 8000."

It is the second shooting in 72 hours in north Belfast.

On Tuesday night an 18-year-old man was shot in the thigh and buttock in the Ardoyne area.

Local politicians have condemned the latest attack.

These are the actions of people who care nothing for the well-being of society and who are prepared to murder and intimidate to advance their own interests.

Nelson McCausland, DUP MLA

North Belfast DUP MLA Nelson McCausland appealed for witnesses to come forward.

He said: "It is important that the police rapidly determine the nature of this murderous attack - did this involve republican paramilitaries or criminal gangs?"

North Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said the community has been left frightened.

"This was at a number of shops and places of business where people were going in and out," he said.

"We're very lucky, I understand, that we're not dealing with two deaths this morning. There could have been other people shot as well."

"Whoever is involved in this, they need to stop, the community is absolutely against them and anybody that has any information to do with any of these shootings need to bring it forward and get these people off the streets."

SDLP Oldpark councillor Nichola Mallon said she was repulsed by the attack.

"This latest incident represents not just an attack on the two men who have been shot but on the wider community. Those that resort to such cowardly and violent attacks have no place and serve no purpose for the people of North Belfast," she said.

"We are seeing a worrying disregard for human life and an escalation of street violence which is totally unacceptable."

Alliance East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson said the event had "inconvenienced a whole community".

"My thoughts are with the victims and their families," he said.

"I would call on anyone who can assist catch those behind these shootings to contact the PSNI as soon as possible.

"It is only when the community backs the police in their fight for justice that we can begin to rid our streets of this behaviour."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
6 Comments
sean corbett in belfast wrote (222 days ago):
@ concerned west belfast i am not and never have been a member of any GANG i dont have a criminal record and wouldnt have been known to police before this matter..i strongly disagree with your GANG related comment. You do not no me or anything about me so what gives you the right to judge me??
Geoff in Belfast wrote (427 days ago):
I am a Catholic. I am Belfast born and bred. Let me make this quite unambiguous: Dissidents. We don't want you! We want peace and jobs and prosperity. Go away and get real jobs. Education sets you free. Trust me on that one.
saoirse in tyrone wrote (427 days ago):
2 young lads were shot and numerous other lives put at risk ..a deplorable act
Carol in Belfast wrote (428 days ago):
"North Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said the community has been left frightened" , this cuda been wrote 10 years ago about his mates in the IRA , the hypocrisy is astounding from these people.
Concerned in West Belfast wrote (428 days ago):
When will the PSNI grow up and start treating these GANGS as GANGS and employ GANG control instead of pussy footing. They all know exactly who these people are but no one does anything. This country is a disgrace. There can never be a United Ireland when we behave like scum.
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