DETECTIVES are appealing for information and witnesses following a report of a shooting incident in the Short Strand area of Belfast last night, Saturday, 25 January.

The victim has been named locally as 57-year-old Sinn Fein cheerleader Patrick Fitzpatrick.

He is from the Short Strand area but is understood to have been living in the Lagmore area of west Belfast.

In 2015, police probing the murder of IRA hitman Kevin McGuigan in the Short Strand by Provo gunmen raided Fitzpatrick’s home in Lagmore Dale and recovered a Glock pistol.

When Fitzpatrick later faced a Belfast court on a firearm offence, a detective said markings on the pistol had been filed off “showing forensic awareness”.

At approximately 7.45 pm on Saturday, Fitzpatrick, who was wearing a bullet proof vest, was walking in the Short Strand area when he was shot. 

He attended hospital for injuries that are not life threatening.

Detective Sergeant Duffield said: “Guns have no place in our community.

“We are fortunate that we are not dealing with a fatality today following this disgraceful attack in which a firearm was discharged in a residential area in the early evening.

“The people undertaking these attacks do not represent our communities.

“I would appeal to anyone who was in the Short Strand area last night and noticed any suspicious activity or vehicles being driven in a suspicious manner to contact detectives at Musgrave on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1711 25/01/20. 

“Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

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