An off-duty police officer has been shot while coaching a youth game in Northern Ireland

An off-duty police officer has been shot while coaching a youth game in Northern Ireland

PSNI officers at the scene of a shooting in the Killyclogher Road area of ​​Omagh – PA

A police officer is battling serious injuries in hospital after being shot while coaching a youth game in Co Tyrone on Wednesday night.

The Police Federation for Northern Ireland, the officers’ representative body, said in a statement that two gunmen shot an off-duty male officer several times at a youth sports complex on Killyclogher Road in Omagh.

Liam Kelly, chair of the Police Federation, said: “This was a brutal, cold-blooded and brutal attempted murder of an off-duty officer. These criminals cause nothing but grief, suffering and heartache.”

It is understood that the senior ranking officer was not on duty when he was attacked before 8pm.

He remains in a serious but stable condition after being taken to hospital in Londonderry for treatment.

Ulster Unionist Assembly Member Tom Elliott said “shots were fired in front of young people at a football coaching session”, calling it a “disgusting and cowardly move”.

Irish police have confirmed they are working with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) following the shooting.

A Garda spokesman said Irish forces were “responding to an ongoing incident in Northern Ireland this evening”.

“We are working closely with our colleagues in the PSNI,” they added.

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service rushed to the scene after receiving a 999 call at 8.02pm following reports of an incident in the Sliverd area of ​​Killyclogher.

“NIAS has dispatched a rapid response paramedic, an emergency crew and an ambulance officer to the incident,” a NIAS spokesperson said.

“After assessment and first aid at the scene, one patient was transported by ambulance to Altengelvin Area Hospital.”

A statement from Chief Constable Simon Byrne said he was “shocked and saddened” by the incident and pledged the force would “relentlessly pursue those responsible”.

DUP leader Sir Geoffrey Donaldson described the shootings as “terrible news for Omagh”.

“Our hearts go out to the family of this brave police officer and his colleagues. We condemn the cowards responsible. These terrorists have nothing to give and must be brought to justice. We stand with the PSNI.”

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris condemned the shooting, adding: “Those responsible for such horror must be brought to justice.”

“I am aware of the tragic events in Omagh tonight and have been kept up to date,” he said.

“My immediate thoughts are with the PSNI officer and his family.”

A shooting scene at a sports complex in Omagh

A shooting scene at a sports complex in Omagh

Sinn Féin vice president Michelle O’Neill called it a “disgraceful and shameful attack”.

“Horrible news of the shooting of an off-duty police officer in Killyclogher, Omagh this evening,” he said.

“This is a despicable and shameful attack. My immediate thoughts are with the officer and his family.”

Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Michael Martin said he was “appalled” by the incident.

“I urge anyone with information to come forward to the authorities,” he said.

Shooting described as 'outrageous and shameful' attack - PA

Shooting described as ‘outrageous and shameful’ attack – PA

SDLP leader Colm Eastwood called the shooting a “cold-blooded” attack.

Mr Eastwood said: “The brutal attack on a police officer in Omagh this evening is a chilling reminder of the horrific violence that criminal gangs are willing to inflict on the people of Northern Ireland.

“My thoughts and those of my SDLP colleagues are with the man and the paramedics, doctors, nurses and police colleagues looking after him at this time.

“In the face of horrific violence that has no place in modern Ireland, their bravery and selfless dedication to service is a lasting reminder that for every person determined to tear us apart, there are hundreds more committed to preserving our peace and those who live under it.”

Former Stormont justice minister Naomi Long said her thoughts were with the officer, his family, colleagues and all those affected by the shooting. He called the attack an “evil act of cowardice”.

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