John Caldwell: Reward of £150,000 for information on shootingon March 8, 2023 at 1:53 pm

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Senior PSNI officer John Caldwell was shot in front of his son in Omagh last month.

John CaldwellImage source, Pacemaker

An increased reward of £150,000 is on offer for information leading to the conviction of those who tried to murder of one of Northern Ireland’s top detectives.

John Caldwell was shot in front of his young son in a sports complex car park in Omagh, County Tyrone, last month.

He suffered life-changing injuries and is still critically ill in hospital.

Police believe the shooting on 22 February was carried out by the dissident republican group the New IRA.

Eight people who had been arrested and questioned by police over the shooting have all since been released.

On Wednesday the independent charity Crimestoppers announced the new reward for information about the attack.

It had previously offered £20,000 but said anonymous donors had helped to increase that to £150,000.

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Det Ch Supt Eamonn Corrigan said the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) was “working relentlessly to bring those responsible to justice”.

He said the background of those behind the shooting was of “a terrorist nature, organised crime nature or both”.

“These people are quite clearly very dangerous and we need information to put them behind bars where they should be,” he said.

“That one little piece of information may close a gap that we have.”

Mr Corrigan said he was disappointed that no-one had been brought before the courts in relation to the shooting.

But he added that investigations of this type were “particularly challenging” and “take time”.


Who is John Caldwell?

One of Northern Ireland’s best-known detectives, John Caldwell has led high-profile inquiries into murders, organised crime and dissident republicans.

Twelve years after he investigated the 2011 murder of his PSNI colleague Ronan Kerr by dissident republicans, he became a target.

Mr Caldwell was shot several times after he had coached a youth football team on 22 February.

He was putting footballs into his car and was accompanied by his son.


Police had previously released CCTV footage of a blue Ford Fiesta car believed to have been used by the gunmen.

New footage has been released by the police, showing the car in Coalisland, County Tyrone, on 21 February.

Its registration was MGZ 6242 but it had been fitted with false plates – FRZ 8414 – prior to the attack.

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Detectives also believe a second blue Ford Fiesta – registration RLZ 9805 – was used in the attempted murder.

It was bought in Glengormley, County Antrim, at the end of January and was taken to Belfast.

At about 13:00 GMT on Wednesday 22 February – the day of the attack on Mr Caldwell – it was driven along the M1 in the direction of Coalisland and Omagh.

It was found burnt out in the Ardboe Industrial Estate in County Tyrone the next day.

“I would like to know where it was stored and its movements during this period of time,” said Mr Corrigan.

“My appeal is for anyone who knows where either of these two cars were kept prior to the shooting or has knowledge of their movements on the day of the shooting to come forward.”

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