Man shot dead in 'ruthless' Belfast attack26/10/2012 - 16:21:30
The shooting of a man in Belfast was a brutal and ruthless attack, the officer leading the murder hunt said today.
Detective Chief Inspector John McVea confirmed police were investigating a possible drugs link to the killing of Daniel McKay last night, and said he could not rule out the involvement of dissident republican vigilante groups.
“I am following a number of lines of inquiry,” said Mr McVea.
“These include some links to drugs. I would also say it is also linking to groups who maybe would associate themselves with dissident groupings, or call themselves a dissident group.”
Mr McKay, 36, was gunned down as he sat in the living room of his home at Longlands Road in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, last night. He was hit several times at close range. Unconfirmed reports suggest he was shot at least once in the face.
The father-of-one had been known to police but was not considered to be a senior criminal, Mr McVea said.
“The aspects of this investigation will certainly lead me into looking at Daniel’s activities,” he added.
“I would however say that, for today, Daniel is a victim. He has been the son of a mother and father who are now grieving for his loss. He had a partner and a 10-year-old child and those people are now grieving for his loss.
“Daniel was known to police. I would not say particularly well known to police. Whatever Daniel has done in his life, nothing merits anybody in society taking this action against him.”
The shooting happened at about 8.30pm last night.
A number of children who live in the house were not at home at the time.
Mr McVea said: “Daniel’s partner had just left and had gone to the shop next door. At the time of the shooting Daniel was on his own. Two masked men entered the house and shot Daniel whilst he sat on his living room settee.”
Police have revealed they are linking the murder with the hijacking of a Volkswagen car which was found burnt out in west Belfast a short time later.
Mr McKay’s death has sent shock waves throughout the Newtownabbey community. Floral tributes have been left at the scene.
Elected representatives condemned the killing and have called for anyone with information to bring it to the PSNI.
Sinn Féin councillor Gerry O’Reilly said those behind the murder must be taken off the streets.
He said: “What is abundantly clear is that those responsible have shown absolute disregard for this community and endangered those nearby through this reckless and dangerous action.”
Mr McVea said he had been encouraged by the community response to date.
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