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Police in Belfast re-open 'chilling' 20-year-old murder case

Joseph Reynolds was gunned down on this way to work in the city in 1993.

Image: PSNI

POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland have re-opened their investigation of the murder of Joseph Reynolds in Belfast 20 years ago.

The 40-year-old painter was shot dead while he was travelling to work with seven others on 12 October 1993.

He was on his way to a job at Shorts aircraft factory when his red Nissan van was ambushed by gunmen.

Recalling the events of the day, detectives have said he stopped at a pedestrian crossing on Sydenham Road at 8.25am to allow two men to cross.

The men, who were wearing blue boilersuits and flat caps, then walked across the road at Fraser Street but when they drew level with the van, they opened fire with a handgun and rifle.

At the same time, another man in a stolen light blue Astra car, which had pulled up behind the van, also opened fire.

The victim’s work colleagues got the van to the factory where medical assistance was provided. However, he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Three of the other seven men were also injured.

The three gunmen ran off down Fraser Street, across the Sydenham by-pass to Ballymacarrett Road where they drove off in a dark blue Vauxhall Astra.

A number of arrests were made in the original police investigation but no one has ever been charged.

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Following a review of the case, information was provided to the Serious Crime Branch which has led to the investigation being re-opened.

Today, police will be in various parts of east Belfast distributing leaflets and posters and asking for help from the local community.

“There was something about Joseph being shot on his way to work in broad daylight in front of relatives and workmates which chilled people,” said chief inspector Karen Baxter.

“Joseph left a wife and five children. He was widely respected in the community, far beyond his native west Belfast. I would ask those people with information in east Belfast who can assist this renewed investigation to do the right thing and tell us what they know.”

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