Man shot outside school as children watch on

Terrified children watched on as a man was shot multiple times outside a school in County Armagh.

The victim, who is understood to be known to police, was targeted in a drive-by attack when a gunman opened fire from a passing car in Craigavon.

The shooting took place at about 3pm near St Brendan's Primary School in the Moyraverty area of the Co Armagh town as many pupils were leaving for the day. It is understood a number of children were boarding a nearby bus when the gunfire rang out.

It is believed the man was there to pick up a child.

Police said he was in a stable condition in hospital.

Detectives believe a black BMW 525 Sport - reg JIG 8111 - which was found on fire in nearby Deramore Drive may be linked to the shooting.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said: "The area was very busy and we believe a number of people may have witnessed this shooting.

"We would ask anyone who has information to contact us as soon as possible so we can progress our investigation.

"There are no words to describe the foolhardiness and complete disregard for the safety of the children and parents who were in the area at the time."

Sinn Fein Assembly member for the area John O'Dowd condemned the attack.

"This was a terrifying experience for pupils and staff at the school," he said.

"Those who carried out this shooting showed absolutely no regard for the pupils, their parents, school staff and the wider community.

"There can be no place for guns in our society.

"I would encourage anyone with information on this shooting to bring it forward to the PSNI."

SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly has called for the community to unite against violence.

"All violence on our streets in unacceptable but this attack, outside a school while children were meeting their parents, was utterly deplorable," she said.

"Those responsible showed a breathtaking recklessness with the safety of these children.

"It is time now for people to step up to the mark and unite against those who want to return violence to our streets. This means more than simply denouncing it.

"It means co-operating with the police and coming forward with information that will help bring these criminals to justice."

KEYWORDS: shooting, craigavon, psni

 

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