Police investigating the shooting of a high-profile loyalist in Carrickfergus have said the brutal attack took place in a street full of families and older people.
Geordie Gilmore Snr, aged 44, remains critically ill in hospital after he was shot in the neck. The attack took place in Pinewood Avenue around 2.15pm when up to five shots are reported to have been fired at the victim.
The murder attempt is being linked to a long-running paramilitary feud in the area.
Police believe the gunman fled the scene on foot.
District Commander Superintendent Darrin Jones said: “In the hours after the shooting local police, supported by members of the PSNI’s Armed Response Units and colleagues from Air Support Unit, carried out a number of searches across Carrickfergus and maintained a robust presence in the area throughout the night.
“This very visible police operation will continue as we continue to gather evidence and investigate this brutal crime.
“It is just unacceptable that someone would produce a weapon and open fire in any circumstances however it is particularly chilling that this attack, this murder bid, took place in broad daylight, in a residential street populated with families, young children and older people. That is simply shocking in a civilised society.
“While a definitive motive for the shooting has not been established and we are exploring a number of possible lines of enquiry, I can say that at this time the involvement of paramilitary criminals is one possibility. Obviously as the investigation is at a very early stage I cannot expand further upon that at present.
Supt Jones renewed his appeal to local people to assist police with their enquiries. Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101 or the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.
READ MORE: Loyalist shot in Carrickfergus named locally