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Dublin: 8 °C Sunday 18 November, 2018

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

The incident happened around 8pm yesterday evening.

Glenbawn Avenue in west Belfast.
Glenbawn Avenue in west Belfast.

Updated at 3.30pm

THE MAN WHO was murdered in Belfast yesterday evening was shot dead in his living room in front of his partner and child.

The PSNI said police and other emergency services were called to a house in the Glenbawn Avenue area of Belfast at around 8pm.

The victim has been named as 28-year-old Raymond Johnston.

This afternoon, the PSNI confirmed that a man produced a weapon and opened fire in Johnston’s living room in front of his partner and 11-year-old child.

“Our thoughts are very much with his family and I condemn this horrendous murder,” Detective chief inspector Geoff Boyce said.

The PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch confirmed it has launched a murder inquiry following the killing.

Boyce said: “I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed a male wearing a blue coat with fur around the hood make off from the scene, getting into a black car with tinted windows which drive away from the scene.”

He said that while a definitive motive for the shooting has not been established, the PSNI is exploring a number of possible lines of enquiry.

“Obviously as the investigation is at a very early stage I cannot expand further upon that at present,” Boyce said.

“Local police will continue to maintain a presence in the area to provide reassurance to residents. We all have a part to play to ensure that the community in Poleglass has the time to come to terms with what has happened here and to ensure that those responsible for this murder are brought to justice.”

Sinn Féin councillor Stephen Magennis said the local community in Poleglass is “stunned and outraged at this latest brutal killing”.

He said: “I have spoken to some of the victim’s family and friends and they are obviously devastated and in a state of shock.

There can be absolutely no justification for this murder which was carried out in the most brutal fashion… The people carrying out these attacks are bringing nothing but death and destruction. They need to be condemned and should get off the backs of this community.

Alliance leader Naomi Long called it a “shocking murder” and joined Magennis in appealing for anyone with information to contact the PSNI.

The PSNI is appealing to anyone with information, “no matter how insignificant they may think it is”, to contact detective on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1192 of 13/02/18 or ask to speak to a detective at the incident room at Musgrave Street.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

With reporting by Sean Murray

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