In a significant development, eleven individuals have been arrested in County Tyrone in connection with the attempted murder of senior detective John Caldwell in February. The Police announced that nine men and two women, aged between 21 and 72, were detained under the Terrorism Act. The arrests followed an extensive search and arrest operation carried out in Omagh and Coalisland on Friday morning.
Detective Chief Inspector Sustained Life-Changing Injuries
Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell, 48, suffered life-changing injuries in the shooting incident. Police believe that the New IRA, a dissident republican group, was responsible for the attack. The detective was critically injured while loading footballs into his car after coaching young people, and the shooting occurred in the presence of school children. The incident has been widely condemned by political figures throughout Northern Ireland.
Investigation Progress and Detective’s Account
The investigation into the shooting has been diligent and extensive. Approximately 400,000 hours of CCTV footage have been seized for analysis as part of the effort to identify and apprehend those involved in the attack. Detective Chief Inspector Caldwell, who was discharged from the hospital in April, has provided investigators with his account of the shooting. His cooperation has been invaluable in advancing the investigation.
Detective Caldwell’s Public Appearance at Garden Party
In a remarkable show of resilience, Detective Caldwell made his first public appearance since the shooting at a garden party held at Hillsborough Castle. Attending the event with King Charles and Queen Camilla, he demonstrated his determination to move forward despite the challenges he faced. Throughout his 26-year career, Detective Caldwell has been a well-known figure in the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), frequently leading press conferences on major investigations.