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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Conor Coyle

John Caldwell: Senior PSNI officer’s condition update one month after being shot by New IRA

Senior PSNI officer John Caldwell remains in a "critical but stable condition" in hospital one month after he was shot by masked gunmen in Omagh.

This week marked one month since the Detective Chief Inspector was gunned down while he packed footballs into his car alongside his son after a football training at Omagh Youthsport.

Thirteen arrests have been made to date in connection with the attempted murder of DCI Caldwell, who had led high-profile investigations into murders and terrorism during his years with the PSNI.

READ MORE: Guns and ammo found in suspected New IRA arms cache discovered in Co Tyrone

The PSNI confirmed on Friday that John remains in hospital and his condition remains unchanged, while those who carried out the shooting have yet to be brought before the courts.

DCI Caldwell sustained a number of bullet wounds to his torso and underwent surgery for his wounds following the attack.

The senior officer was shot multiple times, with the gunmen continuing to fire as he fell to the ground in what police chiefs have called a "cowardly" attack.

Forensics officers examining the car of Det Chief Inspector John Caldwell who was gunned down on February 22, 2023 in Omagh (PA)

Police believe the New IRA was responsible for the attempt on DCI Caldwell’s life on Wednesday February 22, despite reports that a number of those arrested thus far come from a loyalist background.

A chilling statement claiming responsibility for the attempted murder was pasted on to a wall in Derry on February 26. The message purporting to be from the self-styled "IRA" surfaced in the city, and was signed off "T O'Neill" - a signature synonymous with dissident republican paramilitaries.


A total of 13 people have been arrested in connection with the investigation so far, 12 men and one woman.

Initial arrests as part of the investigation were made in Coalisland, Omagh and Stewartstown, Co Tyrone while arrests were later made in Belfast and Derry as well.

The woman arrested in the Omagh on 15 March was 34-years-old, while the men vary in age between 22 and 71.

Court extensions were granted for police to further question a number of those arrested, including a 47-year-old man whose period under arrest was extended.

All of those arrested to date have been released without charge.

Police appeal

PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne pictured at police headquarters with the leaders from the five main Northern Ireland parties (Jonathan Porter / Press Eye)

Police have reiterated their appeal for information to find those responsible for John Caldwell’s shooting, with an initial Crimestoppers reward of £20,000 significantly increased to £150,000.

Police believe two Ford Fiesta cars were used in the attack on DCI Caldwell, one of which was found burnt out in the Racolpa Road area shortly after the shooting. The other was found burnt out in an industrial estate in Ardboe the day after the shooting.

READ MORE: Woman arrested in Derry after suspicious device discovered following attempted hijacking

CCTV footage of one of the cars police believe to have been involved has been released, showing a blue Ford Fiesta exiting the Omagh Youth Sport facility after the shooting, as well as footage of the same car travelling into Coalisland the night before the attack, Tuesday 21 February.

“Major Investigation Team detectives continue to ask for the public’s help and would appeal to witnesses or those with information to get in touch by calling 101,” a PSNI spokesperson said.

“Detectives are also highlighting a reward of up to £150,000 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. Contact the charity anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at

“Information, including photos, CCTV and dash-cam footage, can also be provided to police through the Major Incident Public Portal at .”


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