An off-duty police officer has been taken to hospital after a shooting at a sports complex in Omagh, Northern Ireland.
The officer was allegedly attacked “in front of young people” at the scene at around 8pm on Wednesday. He was taken to hospital after being shot on Killyclogher Road in the County Tyrone town. His condition is unknown.
It seems he was a youth soccer team coach.
A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland said officers were currently at the scene of the shooting. “A man, a serving police officer, was taken to hospital for treatment after being injured in a shooting incident at a sports complex shortly before 8pm this evening,” they said.
“Further details will be released when available.”
Irish police have confirmed they are also investigating. In a statement, the Garda said it was “currently responding to an ongoing incident which took place earlier this afternoon in Northern Ireland”.
Two sources told Reuters the officer was shot “multiple times”. The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it received a 999 call at 8.02pm following reports of an incident in the Slieveard area of Killyclogher.
A spokesman said: “NIAS sent an emergency paramedic rapid response crew and an ambulance officer to the incident.
“Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, one patient was transported by ambulance to Altnagelvin District Hospital.”
Unionist Party of Ulster MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Tom Elliott suggested the police officer was shot in front of young people at a football training session. He tweeted: “Terrible news about a police officer shot in Omagh this evening.
“He was shot in front of young people at a football training session. Unacceptable, cowardly action. There is no place in society for that.”
Politicians across the political spectrum in both the UK and Ireland have condemned the incident.
Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland minister, called for those responsible to be brought to justice, while Ireland’s foreign minister, Michael Martin, said he was “shocked and appalled”.
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson condemned the “terrible news”, adding: “We condemn in the strongest terms the cowards responsible for this. These terrorists have nothing to offer and must be brought to justice. We stand by the PSNI.”
Michelle O’Neill, Sinn Féin’s vice-president, described the shooting as “reprehensible”. She tweeted: “This is an outrageous and disgraceful attack. My immediate thoughts are with the officer and his family.
“I strongly condemn this reprehensible attempt to kill a police officer.”
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said he would speak to PSNI chief Simon Byrne. He said: “That an attack like this took place in Omagh, a place that bears the scars of violence more than many, but where people have shown enormous strength, compassion and grace, should make this a powerful moment of reflection for everyone. us. .
“This is a moment to rededicate ourselves to the primacy of peace and resistance against violence. It is a moment for all of us, a community and a people, to say we will never go back to this – not in our name.”
Stephen Farry, the deputy leader of the Alliance party, tweeted: “The shooting of an off-duty police officer in Omagh is a despicable and cowardly act.
“We all stand in solidarity with those who keep the community safe and uphold the law.”
The Police Federation for Northern Ireland, which represents rank-and-file officers, tweeted: “We fully condemn this appalling and barbaric act of violence against an off-duty officer in Omagh.
“Our thoughts are with our colleague and his family. These gunmen contribute nothing to society. Anyone with information should come forward.”
The shooting took place in the same town where dissident republicans carried out a car bomb attack on August 15, 1998, which was the worst atrocity of the Troubles and left 29 people dead.