The Provisional IRA ambushed a joint army/police patrol as it left Springfield Road police station in west Belfast. Several armed terrorists had taken over a house on the corner of Crocus Street and held the family hostage prior to their attack. They lay in wait for around an hour for a patrol to emerge. A Land Rover then backed out of the police station under the direction of a policeman, with Warrant Officer David Bellamy providing cover. As they clambered into the back of the vehicle the gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons.
The gunmen fired from upstairs windows and into the back of the Land Rover while its door was still open. Some fifty rounds were fired and all three occupants in the back of the vehicle were hit. Warrant Officer Bellamy was killed instantly. Two policemen were seriously injured, one of whom - Constable John Davidson - died three weeks later from his injuries. He had been struck in the head and neck and was on a life support machine prior to his death. The other policeman survived despite being hit seven times. A female occupant of the house, five months pregnant, was treated for shock.
|Warrant Officer David Bellamy|
Warrant Officer David Bellamy served with the Duke of Wellington Regiment and came from Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. The 31-year-old was survived by his wife and two children. He had been due to give evidence at an inquest into the death of an Official IRA member shot dead in west Belfast in 1975.
Constable John Gerald Davidson was 26 and came from south Belfast. He was also survived by a wife and two children.