The police officer gunned down in Omagh on Wednesday night in front of his young son is “critically ill and heavily sedated.”
The update was given by PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne on the condition of Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell at a press conference today.
He added he understands “how important it is” that they were joined “in an act of unity” by all political parties across Northern Ireland.
He said they are aware of the “sheer sense of outrage at this pointless and senseless attack”.
Detective Chief Inspector Caldwell was shot and seriously injured in front of his young son after a youth football session at a sports complex on Killyclogher Road in Omagh.
Giving an update on his condition, Chief Constable Byrne said his colleague remains critically ill and heavily sedated in hospital following surgery on his wounds.
“Last night I had the chance to speak to John’s wife and son,” he told reporters.
“They are clearly heavily affected by what they have gone through but want to pass on their thanks, both to people that rendered first aid and care at the scene, and also in terms of the outpouring of support across the community in relation to this awful outrage.
“We’ve had a chance to talk to political leaders about the pace and context of this investigation, what it means for policing and what we sense will happen in the next few days.
“We echo our thanks because it has rippled through the organisation about how important it is that we’re joined by the political leaders today at this unique time to show that we stand together and call out this outrage for what it is.”
“And we do stand here united as one voice in our condemnation against this horrific attack on a police officer,” she said.
“I think that the most powerful message we as political leaders can do is stand with the police service and say this is not good enough. This is an attack on our community.”
DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson said they stand with the police to ensure those responsible are brought to justice and do not dictate how Northern Ireland moves forward in the future.
“To the evil people who carried out this heinous attack, you are not the future of this place, we stand against you,” Mr Donaldson said.
UUP leader Doug Beattie said the shooting was an attack on the Good Friday Agreement.
“We tell these people out there who try to undermine our peace that it will not work because we stand united,” he said.
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said those who carried out the shooting represent “nobody and will achieve nothing”.
“They think they are at war with the British state but they are at war with the people of Ireland,” he said.
“And from my perspective, that is a battle they will never, ever win.”
The Alliance Party’s Stephen Farry said all five political parties were standing shoulder to shoulder and are all “utterly united in rejecting terrorism”.