Shooting of John Caldwell

On the evening of 22 February 2023, two gunmen shot off-duty Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell of the Police Service of Northern Ireland in Omagh, Northern Ireland. The gumnen are believed to have been linked to the New Irish Republican Army.[1][2] Fifteen people have been arrested in connection with the shooting.[3] On 26 May 2023, seven men were charged with attempted murder.[4] The men range in age from 28 to 72 and appeared by videolink at Dungannon Magistrates Court on 29 May 2023.[5]

Shooting of John Caldwell
LocationOmagh, Northern Ireland
Date22 February 2023
TargetJohn Caldwell
Attack type
Shooting
Injured1
PerpetratorsNew Irish Republican Army (suspected)

Background edit

Caldwell is known in part for investigating high-profile murder incidents, including the murder of Ronan Kerr and the death of Lyra McKee. He has received multiple death threats in the past.[6] He was 48 years old at the time of the shooting.[7]

Events edit

John Caldwell coached an under-15s football team at the Youth Sports complex in Omagh. At 20:00, following a practice session, Caldwell was loading footballs into his car with his son. Two men approached and opened fire. Caldwell fled, but was hit and fell, with the gunmen continuing to fire at him. According to police, the children fled in "sheer terror".[8]

The gunmen fled in a small car, which was later found burnt out, outside Omagh by police.[9]

A member of the public administered first aid. Caldwell was then taken to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry and underwent two surgeries. He suffered life-changing injuries.[10][11]

Reactions edit

The attack was condemned by several political leaders including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.[9]

References edit

  1. ^ Harte, Lauren (23 February 2023). "Three men arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of PSNI officer". BelfastLive. Archived from the original on 23 February 2023. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  2. ^ Pogatchnik, Shawn (23 February 2023). "Northern Ireland's political leaders condemn shooting of Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell". POLITICO. Archived from the original on 23 February 2023. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  3. ^ "John Caldwell: Two men arrested over shooting of police officer". BBC News. 30 March 2023. Archived from the original on 30 March 2023. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  4. ^ "John Caldwell: Seven men charged with attempted murder". BBC News. 27 May 2023. Archived from the original on 27 May 2023. Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  5. ^ Connolly, Grainne (29 May 2023). "John Caldwell: Seven in court over attempted murder of detective". BBC News. Archived from the original on 29 May 2023. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  6. ^ Wilson, David (23 February 2023). "Omagh police shooting: Who is PSNI detective John Caldwell?". BBC News. Archived from the original on 23 February 2023. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  7. ^ Carroll, Rory; Grierson, Jamie (24 February 2023). "Police officer shot in Omagh ambush 'fighting for his life'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 28 March 2023. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  8. ^ Page, Chris (23 February 2023). "Omagh police shooting: Disturbing echoes of past in John Caldwell attack". BBC News. Archived from the original on 23 February 2023. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  9. ^ a b "Omagh police shooting: Three arrested over John Caldwell attack". BBC News. 23 February 2023. Archived from the original on 23 February 2023. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  10. ^ "Omagh shooting: PSNI officer fighting for life as three arrested after shooting". BBC News. 23 February 2023. Archived from the original on 23 February 2023. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  11. ^ "John Caldwell: Detective shot in dissident republican attack leaves hospital". BBC News. 20 April 2023. Archived from the original on 11 May 2023. Retrieved 11 May 2023.