John Caldwell released from hospital after being shot by dissidents

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A senior detective shot by dissident gunmen has been discharged from hospital to continue his recovery at home.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell was shot several times at a sports centre in Omagh in February.

He had been putting balls in a car with his young son after coaching a youth sports team when he was targeted.

Mr Caldwell was critically ill for some time at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry, and has been left with life-changing injuries.

Police officer shot in Omagh
Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell (David Young/PA)

The terrorism threat level in the region has since been raised to severe, meaning an attack is highly likely.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) confirmed Mr Caldwell was discharged from hospital on Thursday.

In a statement the PSNI said: “The Police Service of Northern Ireland can confirm that Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell was discharged from hospital today, Thursday April 20, to continue his recovery.

“We would ask that John and his family are given privacy at this time.”

Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris wished Mr Caldwell well in his recovery.

“Wishing DCI John Caldwell and his family the very best as his recovery continues,” he tweeted.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson welcomed the development.

“Best wishes to DCI John Caldwell as he continues his recovery,” he tweeted.

“Wonderful to see progress in his condition. I recently had the honour of meeting John’s wife and son and as a family they continue to be in our prayers.”

Police officer shot in Omagh
A rally outside Omagh Courthouse against paramilitary violence (Brian Lawless/PA)

There were also public rallies to show solidarity with PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne, Mr Caldwell and his family.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited Mr Caldwell in hospital last week.

Speaking at a dinner at Hillsborough Castle on Wednesday night, Mr Sunak said Mr Caldwell told him that Northern Ireland cannot go back to its violent past.

“We sat together and talked about the society he loves and about his ordeal. He told me, ‘we can’t go back’,” Mr Sunak said.

“We can’t go back. If there is one message from this hall tonight, one message from the people of Northern Ireland to the world, it is surely this: we will never go back.”

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