PSNI release CCTV footage of car used by gunmen who shot DCI Caldwell
A notice is understood to have been placed on a wall in the Creggan area of Derry by the New IRA claiming responsibility for the shooting
CCTV footage of the car used by the gun men involved in the attempted murder of DCI John Caldwell has been released by the PSNI on Monday.
During a media conference, police also confirmed the officer remains in a “critical but stable condition” and said twelve searches have so far been carried out by the PSNI in Omagh and the surrounding areas.
Reflecting on the "absolutely disgusting" scenes DCI Caldwell's son bore witness to, Detective Superintendent Corrigan said police are "doing everything they can to support their colleague's family.
The car which was purchased in Ballyclare weeks ahead of the attempted murder was stored in both Belfast and the Coalisland and Omagh area, indicating a "carefully planned" attack.
Mr Corrigan was only prepared to say was that DCI Caldwell remains in a critical but stable condition.
The PSNI said "at least ten shots" that were fired on the night, and disclosed that two bullets hit vehicles that were parked "showing how reckless this attack was".
A notice is understood to have been placed on a wall in the Creggan area of Derry by the New IRA claiming responsibility for the shooting.
Mr Corrigan said he is aware of that notice and it forms part of the police investigation.
On the level of planning, he added: "Quite clearly this attack was carefully planned; it was planned in advance.
"A vehicle has been obtained weeks ahead of the attack on John. It has travelled down the night before with false plates.
"I believe a number of people were involved in the plan to attack and kill John and they haven't been successful."
He added: "It carries all the hallmarks of a terrorist attack that we've seen in the past."
With time running out to question the men in custody the police were not prepared to comment on a live investigation.
Commenting on young officers who have no first-hand experience of such terrorist attacks, Mr Corrigan said the PSNI is working closely with officers to reassure them at this time.
“The gunmen fired from close range in the busy sports training area, which could have quite easily seriously injured or killed anyone close by. John’s own son was with him at the time and witnessed the shooting,” the Detective Superintendent said.
“John remains in hospital where his condition remains critical but stable.
“Our investigation into John’s attempted murder continues apace and to-date we have conducted 12 searches in Omagh and the surrounding area.
“Six men aged between 22 and 71, arrested as part of our investigation, remain in custody.
“We continue to treat this as terrorist-related and our primary line of enquiry is it has been carried out by the New IRA.
“Today I am releasing CCTV footage of the car used by the gunmen. This is a blue Ford Fiesta, registration number MGZ 6242. It was then fitted with false plates, FRZ 8414, prior to the attack.
“Our CCTV footage shows the car leaving the sports complex and turning left onto the Killyclogher Road immediately after the shooting. We then know it travelled past Glendale Service Station to the Racolpa Road where they abandoned the car and set it on fire.
“We have established that the car was purchased in Ballyclare on Wednesday 8 February and was observed travelling towards Belfast on the M2 Motorway that night. It was next noted leaving Belfast at around 9.30pm on Tuesday 21 February - the night before the attack on John – and travelled along the M1 Motorway in the direction of Coalisland/Omagh.
“My appeal today is for anyone who knows where this car was kept in Belfast in the preceding two weeks or anyone who knows where it was stored after it travelled to Omagh on the Tuesday night.
“I am also appealing for anyone who observed anything suspicious in the Racolpa Road area on Wednesday evening. Did you see anyone or any vehicles on the road? Did you observe any vehicles driving away from the area at speed?
“I continue to ask for the public’s help to bring those responsible for this senseless attack to justice and would appeal to witnesses or those with information to please get in touch by calling 101.
“I am also keen to highlight a reward of up to £20,000 from Crimestoppers, who are a charity and independent of the police. The reward is offered for information given directly to Crimestoppers that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for John’s attempted murder. Crimestoppers will ensure that you remain anonymous."
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