PSNI officer Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell is currently "critically ill and heavily sedated," according to PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne. 

Caldwell was shot multiple times in front of his teenage son while putting footballs in his car after a training session at a sports complex in Omagh, Co Tyrone on Wednesday night, February 22.

"John remains in hospital where he is critically ill and heavily sedated," PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne said on Friday.

Byrne said he spoke with Caldwell's wife and son on Thursday night: "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 but also in terms of the outpouring of support across the community in relation to this awful outrage."

Byrne, flanked by the leaders of Northern Ireland's five main political parties, continued: "Clearly today, 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."

Sinn Féin Vice President Michelle O'Neill said on Friday that it was important to stand united in condemnation of the attack.

"I think that the most powerful message we as political leaders can do is stand with the Chief Constable today, stand with the police service and to this is not good enough," O'Neill said.

"This is an attack on all of us, this is an attack on our community." 

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson described the attack as "evil" and "heinous" and said the party will stand with the police to ensure those responsible are brought to justice. 

"You are not the future of this place," Donaldson said to the attackers. "We stand against you."

Stephen Farry, deputy leader of the Alliance Party, said: "All five parties are utterly united in rejecting terrorism and standing up for the rule of law and democratic principles."

UUP leader Doug Beattie described the shooting as an attack on the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement and asked the public to raise their voices against such attacks.

"We tell these people out there who try to undermine our peace that it will not work because we stand united," Beattie said. 

Colum Eastwood, head of the SDLP, said: "Those people who carried out this attack represent nobody, they will achieve nothing. They think they're at war with the British state, they're at war with the people of Ireland. From my perspective, that is a battle that they will never, ever win."

The appearance by the political leaders comes the day after they signed a joint statement expressing their condemnation of the attack:

Leaders of all political parties are united in condemnation of last night’s cowardly attempted murder of DCI John Caldwell.

Our thoughts remain with John and his family and friends as they come to terms with what has happened.

— Michelle O’Neill (@moneillsf) February 23, 2023

On Thursday night, PSNI announced that a fourth person, aged 22, had been arrested after three other people, aged 38, 45, and 47, were arrested in Omagh and Coalisland earlier on Thursday. 

Detectives investigating the attempted murder of Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Major Investigation Team on Wednesday 22nd February at Killyclogher Road area of Omagh have this morning, Friday 24th February,made a 4th arrest.

— Police Service NI (@PoliceServiceNI) February 24, 2023

The PSNI is appealing to the public for any information that may help catch the gunmen that carried out Wednesday night's attack. 

Police Appeal: Attempted murder of Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell

— Police Service NI (@PoliceServiceNI) February 24, 2023

Police say that Caldwell was shot by two gunmen in dark clothing, who fled the scene on foot before entering a small dark car. 

The car was later found burned out a short distance from the crime scene. 

Detectives are seeking to speak to anyone who was in the vicinity of the sports complex when the shooting took place, while they have also appealed to anyone with dashcam, CCTV, or mobile phone footage to come forward. 

Police said several vehicles parked in the sports complex were hit by bullets fired during the attack. 

The PSNI said the dissident republican group the New IRA is the "primary focus" of the investigation.