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Home » Two Men Arrested After Northern Ireland Shooting Have Been Released

Two Men Arrested After Northern Ireland Shooting Have Been Released

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Two men who were arrested after the shooting of a police officer in Northern Ireland have been released. 

The men, aged 33 and 57, were released today after questioning.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell was attacked before 8pm on 22 February after a football training session at a sports centre in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

He was shot in front of his young son as he put footballs into the boot of his car.

He remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

Six other men – aged 22, 38, 43, 45, 47 and 71 – who had also been arrested and questioned as part of the investigation into the attempted murder were previously released.

Police have said they believe the dissident republican New IRA carried out the shooting. They believe two gunmen were involved in the incident with at least 10 shots fired.

Police repeated their appeal for information, with the independent charity Crimestoppers offering a £20,000 reward.

Officers returned to the scene of the attack last week and spoke with motorists and pedestrians in the area.

They also released CCTV footage of the car used by the gunmen – a blue Ford Fiesta with the registration number MGZ 6242.

The car was fitted with false plates, FRZ 8414, before the shooting.

In the footage, the vehicle is seen leaving the sports centre after the attack.

DCI Caldwell was a high profile officer within Northern Ireland’s police force and had led several major investigations including the killing of pregnant woman Natalie McNally in Lurgan in December.

The shooting sparked widespread criticism across the political divide in Northern Ireland.

Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill said it was an “outrageous and shameful attack”.

“My immediate thoughts are with the officer and his family,” she said.

“I unreservedly condemn this reprehensible attempt to murder a police officer.”

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DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, who branded those who carried out the attack as “evil”.

He said: “I would say to the evil people who carried out this heinous attack and their organisation: You are not the future of this place. We stand against you.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was appalled by the “disgraceful shooting of an off-duty police officer in Omagh”.

Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland secretary, called it “a cowardly and callous attack”.

Crowds of people attended a rally protesting the attempted murder in Omagh, carrying placards which read: “No going back.”