An award-winning Press Association photographer has been caught by gunfire during some of the most serious rioting in east Belfast in a decade.
He was shot in the leg. Reports indicate his injury is not life-threatening, and that he is in a stable condition in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
The Belfast Telegraph names him as Niall Carson, and has a picture of the photographer being treated for his injury. (View Niall Carson's Press Association profile here).
Last night around 9pm he retweeted a message from Daily Mail journalist Maurice Fitzmaurice: "PSNI water canon seen driving past City Airport. En route to Short Strand? [where Carson was injured]."
Police in Northern Ireland, who have launched an attempted murder investigation, say the photographer was probably not the intended target. Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay told the BBC that the targeting of journalists would be a “very strange development”, saying it is “more likely” the shots were aimed at police. Two further bullets struck a nearby police Land Rovers.
The BBC reports comments from another photographer standing close by on the Lower Newtownards Road near the police vehicles. “I looked back and there was somebody peering over the wall and he shot about five or six rounds.”
He continued: “The next thing I know a colleague of mine, he yells, 'I've been shot, I've been shot', and I looked back and his leg on the bottom part, I don't know if he was grazed, or if the bullet went in or what, but I looked at his trousers and his trousers were all stained. It was wet, it was obviously blood."
He also said he’d been in contact with his injured colleague, who is reportedly been in surgery this morning, saying: “He's doing fine... The bullet went in and came out, so it is not life-threatening.”
The shooting occurred during rising sectarian tensions in east Belfast, which the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have blamed on the Protestant Ulster Volunteer Force, who they say orchestrated last night’s rioting.
Police appealed for all media to stay out of east Belfast "for their own safety".
Most Popular Articles
Updating your subscription status
We have a vacancy for a Key Account Manager working on The British Journal of Photography
Magnet Harlequin, one of the UK's leading Creative Production Agencies is seeking a new Head of Photography.
We have opportunities for two experienced photographic, audio or video technicians.