‘Mafia-style’ attempted murder of off-duty PSNI officer condemned

Detectives are investigating the attempted murder of an off-duty Police Service Of Northern Ireland (PSNI) police officer in the early hours of yesterday morning (January 2).

Jan 3, 2020
By Paul Jacques

The PSNI said the male police officer was at his home in Kesh, County Fermanagh, when he noticed movement outside his property at around 2am. Opening his front door to investigate, the officer was confronted by a masked male aiming a shotgun at him.

The suspect, who was described as being dressed entirely in black, then made off on foot across nearby fields close to the local football club.

A 37-year-old man remains in custody on suspicion of attempted murder following his arrest in Fermanagh on Friday (January 3). However, detectives continue to appeal for information and any dashcam or CCTV footage from the area.

Detective Chief Inspector Julie Mullan said: “We firmly believe that this disturbing incident was a failed attempt to kill a local police officer. There are no words to describe those who would creep through the dark of night with nothing but death and destruction on their minds.

“Their actions stand in stark contrast to those officers, including their intended target, who everyday police our communities with dignity, respect and courtesy.

“Just this week, neighbourhood policing team and local policing team officers across Fermanagh and Northern Ireland were out in their communities attending events, giving back to their community and looking forward to continuing to work with them for another year. Never could we have imagined that this is what the New Year would bring.”

She added: “At the present time we are keeping an open mind as to the motivation behind this attack however a primary line of enquiry is that organised criminal elements may be responsible.

“CID detectives have now initiated a full investigation, which I can assure the community will be thorough and robust. I would take this opportunity to appeal for the help of the people of Kesh and further afield in identifying this would-be killer.”

The chair of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, Mark Lindsay, condemned the “Mafia-style” attempted murder of the off-duty officer. “This was an appalling and cowardly act. The officer was fortunate to escape unhurt,” he said. “I spoke with him earlier today and, understandably, he has been left badly shaken by the shocking experience of being confronted by a gunman on his doorstep.

“We will provide the officer with whatever assistance he requires to come to terms with what happened. I know every effort will be made to bring his would-be killer to justice and I would echo the appeal made by the PSNI to the public to help in whatever way they can with this robust investigation.

“There should be no place for this type of Mafia-style behaviour. This is gangsterism at its worst and the entire community needs to reject those who would think nothing of murdering a police officer and delivering untold heartache and pain to his family.”

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