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Murder enquiry launched after man shot dead in west Belfast

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Detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team have launched a murder enquiry after a man was shot dead in St Katharines Road in West Belfast just before 1pm today.

Police received reports that a man was shot a number of times and he was later pronounced dead at hospital.

Detective Chief Inspector Darren McCartney said: “I have launched a murder investigation following the fatal shooting of a man in his late 20s this afternoon. I believe the man was chased from the junction of Rodney Parade and St James’s Road along Rodney Parade by two masked gunmen before he was shot a number of times at close range in St Katharines Road. This was a brutal murder and the brazen recklessness of the killers completely beggars belief.

“They did not give any thought to the risk posed to local people in this community who were going about their business at lunchtime when they ran through the streets firing shots. Nor did they care who may have been collateral damage in this highly populated residential area during their mission to kill.

“My thoughts are very much with the family of the victim who are tonight in a state of shock and grieving for their loved one. No family should ever have to go through this heartbreak.

“It is too early to speculate on the motive for this callous murder and over coming days I will be working to piece together all the information and evidence.

“I know the community is in shock but I would appeal to anyone who has information about this appalling murder to bring that forward to the police so that we can remove these dangerous gunmen from the streets. I would like to hear from anyone who saw the victim being chased by the two gunmen in the Rodney Drive, St James’s Road, Rodney Parade and St Katharines Road areas before and after the shooting.

“I am aware the area was busy with pedestrians and motorists so I am asking anyone who may have captured any footage of the incident to please make that available to us also.

“Please call detectives with any information on 101.”

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