Police officer shot at sports complex in Co Tyrone

A police officer has been taken to hospital following a shooting in Co Tyrone.

Police in Northern Ireland have confirmed that a man, a serving police officer, was injured in a shooting incident at a sports complex in Omagh on Wednesday evening.

It is understood the officer had been coaching a youth football team.

In a statement, the PSNI said officers are currently at the scene of the shooting in the Killyclogher Road area of Omagh.

“One man, a serving police officer, has been taken to hospital for treatment after being injured in a shooting incident at a sports complex just before 8pm this evening,” they said.

“More details will be issued when available.”

It is understood the officer, who was senior ranking, was not on duty when he was attacked by gun men who then fled across the border to the Republic of Ireland.

Irish police have confirmed they are also investigating.

In a statement, the Garda said it is “currently responding to an ongoing incident which took place earlier this evening in Northern Ireland”.

“We are working closely in cooperation with our counterparts in the PSNI,” a spokesperson said.

“An Garda Siochana has no further comment at this time.”

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said they received a 999 call at 8.02pm following reports of an incident in the Slievard area of Killyclogher.

“NIAS dispatched a Rapid Response Paramedic Emergency Crew and an ambulance officer to the incident,” a spokesperson said.

“Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, one patient was taken by ambulance to Altnagelvin Area Hospital.”

Ulster Unionist Party MLA Tom Elliott has indicated the officer was shot in front of young people at a football coaching session.

“Despicable, cowardly action. No place in society for this,” he tweeted.

The shooting has been condemned by politicians across the UK and Ireland.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris said those responsible must be brought to justice.

“I am aware of the shocking incident in Omagh tonight and am being kept up to date,” he said.

“My immediate thoughts are with the PSNI officer and his family.

“Those responsible for such horror must be brought to justice.”

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin said he is “shocked and appalled”.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues in these difficult first hours. I urge anyone with information to go to the authorities,” he said.

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

“Terrible news this evening of an off-duty police officer being shot in Killyclogher, Omagh,” she said.

“This is an outrageous and shameful attack. My immediate thoughts are with the officer and his family.

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

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson described the shooting as “terrible news from Omagh”.

“Our heart goes out to the family of this courageous police officer and to his colleagues,” he said.

“We condemn outright the cowards responsible for this.

“These terrorists have nothing to offer and they must be brought to justice.

“We stand with the PSNI.”

Former Stormont justice minister, Naomi Long, said her thoughts were with the officer, his family, colleagues and all those affected by the shooting.

She branded the attack an “evil act of cowardice”.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the shooting was a “chilling attack”.

“My thoughts and the thoughts of my SDLP colleagues are with the man and with the paramedics, doctors, nurses and police colleagues looking after him at this time,” he said.

“In the face of appalling violence that has no place in modern Ireland, their bravery and selfless dedication to service is an enduring reminder that for every individual determined to tear us apart, there are hundreds more committed to defending our peace and all those who live under it.”