THE family of on-the-run murder suspect Kieran McLaughlin have appealed to him to hand himself over to police.
At a hastily arranged press conference held this evening in Strand Road police station, the detective leading the investigation, Chief Inspector Ian Harrison, made a personal appeal to McLaughlin to contact him directly.
DCI Harrison said the suspect’s family were “in bits” and were supporting the police appeal for him to come forward.
He also issued a telephone number – o2871210775 – for McLaughlin to contact police directly.
DCI Harrison said: “This whole incident has caused significant degree of concern within the local community. We are liaising closely with Mr McLaughlin’s family and they wish to see this come to a peaceful conclusion – and that is our wish also. So tonight, Mr McLaughlin, if yo are watching please contact us o2871210775 and help us bring this to a peaceful conclusion.
“We don’t want to see any more risk posed to you or the wider community and if you make contact with us we will facilitate your ease of passage into the police station.
“We have one grieving family and another that are distressed because we wish to speak to their father.
“We are not prejudging you, Mr McLaughlin, and I speak to you now directly, please make contact with us. It is of concern to us that there potentially is a firearm on the streets of Derry tonight and I again ask you to please come forward and give your account of what happened on the 10th of October. Please contact o2871210775 and officers will happily to talk to speak to you tonight.
DCI Harrison concluded: “The McLaughlin family are supporting the police appeal. I have spoken to the wider family and, to be honest, they are in bits at the moment. It is causing a great degree of distress to them. They want their family returned safely to them and that is our intention also.”
McLaughlin (58), from the Galliagh area, has been on the run following the shooting dead of Barry McCrory (35) in a flat in Shipquay Street on Thursday morning last. Police took the unusual step of naming and releasing a photograph of McLaughlin as the man they wanted to speak to in relation to the killing.
A number of search operations on both sides of the border have so far been unable to locate McLaughlin.
Mr McCrory’s funeral will take place in St Joseph’s Church, Galliagh, at 10.00am tomorrow.