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Dublin: 1 °C Monday 19 March, 2018

Dissident republicans believed to have been behind murder of man in Belfast

Raymond Johnston (28) was shot dead in his living room in front of his partner and 11-year-old child on Tuesday evening.

Glenbawn Avenue in west Belfast.
Glenbawn Avenue in west Belfast.
Image: Google Maps

POLICE INVESTIGATING THE murder of a man in Belfast on Tuesday believe that dissident republican groups may have been involved with the killing.

Raymond Johnston (28) was shot dead in his living room in front of his partner and 11-year-old child on Tuesday evening.

Two gunmen entered his home and shot Johnston in front of his family.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday detective PSNI detective chief inspector Geoff Boyce said that the main line of inquiry was that individuals connected to dissident Republican groups were involved.

“It’s too early to speculate which group but those are the type of individuals we would believe to have been involved,” Boyce told reporters.

“The manner in which Raymond was murdered was particularly brutal.

“The gunmen had been in the house for a very short period of time and he’s been murdered in front of an 11-year-old child and his partner.

We’re particularly keen to prevent this from happening again to catch those responsible and give justice to the Johnston family.

Boyce said that police had set up an incident room and were exploring a number of possible lines of enquiry.

“We are reviewing CCTV footage from the area, but we also need help from local people,” he said.

“In particular, I am appealing to anyone who met with, or spoke with Raymond any time on Tuesday to contact us.

“I would ask people to jog their memories, and try to recall if they saw Raymond on Tuesday – do you remember where and when you saw him. Was he with anyone? What was he doing?

No matter how insignificant you think a detail may be, it could make a difference so, please tell us. It could help us solve this savage murder and lead us to those who are responsible.

Boyce said that police were seeking to establish the movements of a dark-coloured car that was suspected to have been involved in the murder.

They were also looking for information on a man wearing a blue coat with fur around the hood make off from the scene getting into this vehicle.

“I would ask any members of the public who have a dash cam fitted to their vehicle, and were travelling on Glenbawn Avenue, Glenbawn Square, Bryanswell Road, Bellsteel Road, Pantridge Road, Stewartstown Road or Colinwell Road between 7pm and 9pm on Tuesday, 13 February to contact detectives at Musgrave,” Boyce said.

You may have footage that could help us piece together what happened on Tuesday night and lead us to those behind this brutal act.

Witnesses in the North or those with information are asked to contact detectives on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1192 of 13/02/18 or ask to speak to Detectives at the incident room at Musgrave Street.

Read: Man murdered in west Belfast was shot in living room in front of partner and child

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