DETECTIVES have launched an investigation after a man was found unconscious on Sunday morning.
Belfast Daily understands that investigators believe Jimmy Owens was either hit by a car or suffered a serious assault.
The 34-year-old victim, from Crimea Street off the Shankill Road, is fighting for his life in hospital with his family keeping a beside vigil.
Sources said the victim is on a life support machine.
“Doctors have prepared the family for the worst in case Jimmy doesn’t make it through. If he doesn’t this could turn into a murder inquiry,” said a source on the Shankill.
“People are shocked by what has happened to him.”
It is understood Mr Owens has a partner and a number of children, one of which died recently.
The Owens family is well known on the Shankill.
Some family members work as trainers in the local Hammer Boxing Club.
Mr Owens was discovered close to Shankill Leisure Centre in west Belfast at around 7.30am.
Police say he sustained head and face injuries and he may have lain in the street for some hours.
The man was taken to hospital where he is in a serious condition.A PSNI spokesperson added: “The man has been indentified and his family are with him.”
Police are trying to establish how the man was injured.
Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at Tennent Street police station on 0845 600 8000.
Shankill DUP Councillor Brian Kingston has echoed police calls for anyone with information to come forward.
He said: “It is deeply concerning that this man was found lying unconscious in the street with serious head and face injuries.
“This is the last thing that anyone wants to see happening in their community.
“The thoughts and prayers of people on the Shankill are with him and his family as we hope and pray for a full recovery.”