Father and daughter shot in Belfast ambush


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The Independent Online

A father and his teenage daughter were shot in an ambush today.

A masked gunman emerged from a van and fired five times.

Harry Hales, 47, was hit at least twice in the chest when he was getting into a car outside a house in Evelyn Gardens, north Belfast. His daughter Emma, 18, who was with him at the time was shot in the stomach and hand.

Mr Hales condition in the Royal Victoria Hospital was later described as "life-threatening".

A spokesman said his daughter was "critical but stable".

Mr Hales's wife heard the shots and saw the gunman run away from the family's home, police revealed.

Detective Chief Inspector Karen Baxter, who is heading the police investigation, said it was too early to establish a definite motive for the attack.

She said: "Both of them were very lucky to be alive."

Mr Hales was about take his daughter to school when they were confronted by the gunman, who was wearing a balaclava.

He was driven away in a red van, which was later found burnt-out not far away at Ballymoney Street, in the Oldpark district.