Investigations into the attempted murder on Monday afternoon in Aglandjia are progressing rapidly, police spokesperson Christos Andreou said on Tuesday.

He said that authorities are focusing their efforts on the shell casings found at the scene, and closed-circuit television footage from the area has already been collected.

The incident took place on Larnaca Avenue shortly after 5:15pm, after the 49-year-old would-be victim stopped his car outside a kiosk and his 17-year-old son got out of the vehicle.

An unknown person opened fire on the car when the son returned to the vehicle. Two shots were fired, but did not hit the target, his son, or his 15-year-old daughter who was sat in the back seat.

Andreou expressed deep concern over the fact that gunshots were fired while two children were inside the vehicle.

“We are making every effort to solve this particular case,” he said. “We have already collected some evidence from the scene, which we believe will assist in the investigative process. Some closed-circuit cameras are expected to be evaluated today by the investigators.”

Newly appointed Justice Minister Marios Hartsiotis said police “are taking all necessary measures and conducting thorough examinations to uncover the details of the incident.”

He is in constant communication with the police chief regarding the attempted murder.

“I have nothing else to add,” Hartsiotis quipped, but “I can say that is the justice ministry’s priority to address the truly serious issue of organised crime that is currently affecting all of Cyprus society.”

Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis reiterating that “ensuring both the actual security and the perceived sense of security within society is one of the government’s top priorities.

“The aim is to prevent such unacceptable incidents and actions in the future,” he added.

“The recent surge in criminal activity in the country is currently under the scrutiny of the police. Directives have been issued, and there is coordination with the police to promptly investigate and bring those responsible before the judiciary,” Letymbiotis concluded.

According to Andreou, the 49-year-old is expected to testify on Tuesday and has already told the police how the events unfolded. However, it is yet to be clarified whether the perpetrator set up an ambush.

“It appears that the first shot was fired at the windscreen, and the second shot was fired at the door window while the victim was attempting to leave the scene,” Andreou explained, adding that the target has been involved in various cases in the past.

“All information is being examined. There are some testimonies about how the incident unfolded,” head of the Nicosia CID Andreas Lambianou said, adding that it remains uncertain whether the perpetrator was in a vehicle or on foot.

There were no reported injuries, but the vehicle’s windscreen and door window were damaged.

Phileleftheros reported rumours that the would-be victim may have been connected to Alexis Mavromichalis, who was shot dead while standing on the balcony of his apartment in Nicosia in October.

Meanwhile, representatives of the police called for increased support to effectively combat organised crime.

Speaking on CyBC radio, secretary of the police association Lefteris Kyriakou stressed the need to bolster special units, such as the drug squad Ykan and the crime prevention squads by allocating additional personnel.

On top of that, trade union Isotita’s police department chairman Nikos Loizides added that the current force is inadequate to address organised crime and the underworld effectively.

Loizides stressed “the imperative need to establish a specialised unit for this purpose” and suggested the closure of existing departments that might not align with the requirements of tackling organised crime.

During a meeting at the police headquarters with Hartsiotis, a delegation of the union discussed the need to enhance their efforts against the underworld.

“Twenty per cent of organised crime is visible; the other 80 per cent is invisible,” Loizides said on Alpha radio.

He added that “a reshuffling [of the police force] is imperative to reduce crime, promptly respond to incidents and, when possible, prevent them from happening.”

“We are playing in defence and losing 5-0 against the underworld and organised crime,” Loizides said, calling the way the force operates “obsolete”.

He highlighted a communications gap with the police leadership, and also pointed the finger at the composition of various police units, noting that 80 per cent of the rapid response unit (MMAD) consists of probationary officers.