Attempted murder of police chief John Caldwell: Man arrested by investigators released

A 45-year-old man arrested in connection with the investigation into the attempted murder of Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell on February 22 in the Killyclogher Road area of Omagh, has been released following questioning.

A 34-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and assisting offenders has been released on bail to allow for further enquiries.Major Investigation Team detectives meanwhile have issued a fresh appeal for witnesses or those with information to get in touch by calling 101.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 the attempted murder. Contact the charity anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Shortly after 8pm on Wednesday, February 22 a number of shots were fired at the off-duty officer as he returned to his car at a sports complex on the Killyclogher Road.

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Assistant Chief Constable for Crime Department Mark McEwan said at the time: “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.”

DCI John Caldwell
DCI John Caldwell
DCI John Caldwell

John Caldwell was putting footballs into the boot of the car, accompanied by his young son, when two gunmen approached and fired multiple shots.

Assistant Chief Constable McEwan said: “John ran a short distance and fell to the ground when the gunmen continued to fire shots at him.

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“That shows the absolute callous nature of this attack, and it is 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.

“John sustained a number of bullet wounds to his torso and was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries.”

Information, including photos, CCTV and dash-cam footage, can also be provided to police through the Major Incident Public Portal at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/PSNI23S03-PO1