Three arrested over shooting of Detective John Caldwell who is ‘fighting for his life’

The men aged 38, 45 and 47 were arrested last night in Omagh and Coalisland

DCI John Cardwell© Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

Chief Constable Simon Byrne speaking at Police Headquarters

Kurtis ReidBelfast Telegraph

Three men have been arrested as part of the investigation into the attempted murder of Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell.

Speaking during a PSNI press conference, Chief Constable Simon Byrne said the men aged 38, 45 and 47 were arrested last night in Omagh and Coalisland.

The men were arrested under the Terrorism Act in connection with the attempted murder. They are currently being questioned by detectives in Musgrave Serious Crime Suite.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell was shot four times by two gunmen while placing footballs into the boot of his car at a sporting centre on the Killyclogher Road.

He was at the centre coaching an under-15’s football team.

The PSNI have said dissident republican group the New IRA is the primary focus for detectives.

Chief Constable Simon Byrne speaking at Police Headquarters

Mr Caldwell’s young son was by his side when the attack on Wednesday evening occurred. He remains in critical condition in hospital and received surgery last night after sustaining a number of bullet wounds to his torso.

Mr Byrne said he is “fighting for his life” and his family were visited by Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton.

Assistant Chief Constable for Crime Department Mark McEwan said: “The officer’s condition remains critical but stable.

"We are closely consulting with John Caldwell’s family, who are understandably shocked at last night’s shooting. John is a highly respected senior investigating officer who dedicates himself to service both in supporting victims and families in bringing others to justice.

"He is also an active member of the Omagh community.”

ACC McEwan added the attack was “utterly disgusting that the gunmen carried out this attempted murder in front of crowds of adults and children. John’s own young son was with him at the time and witnessed the shooting. “

"The trauma inflicted on this young boy is just horrific and he will never forget seeing his dad shot multiple times” he said.

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