The gun is a a Hemmerli X-Esse pistol. PSNI

Gun used to kill journalist Lyra McKee is found in Derry

One man has been charged with her murder and a second man has been charged with offences relating to the rioting that preceded it.

POLICE IN DERRY have confirmed that they have recovered the gun that killed journalist Lyra McKee in April 2019.

McKee was killed when she was shot while attending a riot in the Creggan area of the city on the night of 18 April last year.

One man has been charged with her murder and a second man has been charged with offences relating to the rioting that preceded it.

Last weekend, the PSNI recovered a gun during searches in Derry and officers have now confirmed following examinations of the weapon that it was the one which killed the 29-year-old. 

Speaking this afternoon, Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said that a determined investigation is ongoing into the murder. 

“That collective effort has never been simply directed towards the person who pulled the trigger. I am as clear today as I have ever been that the bringing of that gun onto the streets involved a number of senior figures in the New IRA,” he said.

Today’s confirmation is a significant step forward and opens up a new avenue of investigation for my team. We will be relentless in pursuing opportunities to bring to justice every person who was involved in the chain of events that led to the gunman indiscriminately firing four shots. Those shots were fired intentionally towards police Land Rovers, placing many officers at significant risk of death or serious injury. The presence of bystanders like Lyra, who were watching the unfolding events, was an inconvenience to the terrorists but the gunman clearly placed no importance on that. Any reasonable assessment must be that for the New IRA, the community were, and continue to be, expendable collateral damage

The gun is a Hemmerli X-Esse pistol and police say it was transported and hid in a field after it was fired on the night in question. 

“A very detailed forensic examination of the gun, ammunition and the plastic bags in which they were wrapped is currently ongoing. The gun jammed as the gunman fired and I know from the video footage that the gunman tried several times to eject the jammed rounds,” Murphy added. 

Bullets - 1 Ammunition found with the weapon.

“For that reason, I have asked scientists to extend their forensic examination beyond the outside of the gun and forensically examine the inside mechanisms of it, to establish whether the gunman, in his haste to clear the blockage, may have left forensic traces inside the gun. We are using the most advanced DNA technology available and we will exhaust every opportunity to recover forensic evidence.”

Police say that they have informed McKee’s family and her partner Sara that the gun has been found. 

“Understandably they are relieved that no other family will ever have to face the devastation arising from the use of that gun, that they have been forced to face for the past 15 months,” Murphy said. 

Police have also made another appeal for any witnesses to the murder or anyone with footage to come forward. 

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