THE TOP detective leading the investigation into the murder of drug dealer Danny McKay has branded his dissident republican killers as “ruthless”.
The 36-year-old was gunned down last night at his home in the mainly nationalist Longlands estate in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim.
It is believed up to four men were involved and the father-of-one was blasted to death with at least six rounds from an automatic gun, believed to have been an assault rifle.
Belfast Daily revealed earlier today that the victim had been living under the shadow of a dissident republican death threat.
We exclusively revealed that McKay was told by Oglaigh na hEireann on Tuesday of this week to leave the country within 24 hours or be shot dead.
A source told us: “He was scared but he decided he was going to be forced out of the country by the ONH.”
This afternoon, DCI John McVea, from the PSNI’s Murder Investigation Team (MIT) based at North Queen Street PSNI station in north Belfast, said those who killed Danny McKay were “ruthless”.
Added DCI McVea: “He was known to police, but not particularly well known, and whatever Daniel may have done in his life, nothing merits this.”
The victim was sitting along on a sofa in his living room where ONH gunmen entered his family and raked him with automatic gunfire.
Police believe and died at the scene. At least two men are believed to have been involved in the attack but sources told Belfast Daily four men were involved in the gangland style killing.
DCI McVea said detectives are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry and said he was not sure that the gunmen could identify themselves as belonging to any one organisation.
“We are keeping an open mind as to who was involved and would appeal to anyone who knows which group or individuals were involved to contact detectives,” he added.