THE detective leading the hunt for the killers of IRA chief Jock Davison this morning has branded his murder as “cold blooded”.
Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway, from the PSNI’S Major Investigation Team (MIT) has appealed for witnesses to come forward.
Davison was gunned down in the street with two rounds fired into his head at close range in what locals describe as a “professional hit”.
However, police don’t believe dissident republicans carried out the murder.
The finger of suspicion is locally being pointed at underworold criminals either as a result of a fallout or revenge.
Said DCI Galloway: “At around 9am this morning 47 year old Jock Davison was walking along Welsh Street in the Markets area of Belfast when he was shot a number of times.
“Despite the efforts of local people and paramedics, he tragically died at the scene.
“Gerard Davison was known to everyone as Jock. He was 47, a father, grandfather, brother and son.
“He was a high profile community worker in the area in recent years and a prominent member of the Markets Development Association.
“In fact, Mr Davison was walking to a local community centre where he worked when he was shot.
“This was a cold-blooded murder carried out in broad daylight in a residential area and it has no place in the new Northern Ireland.
“We have detectives in the Markets area making house to house enquiries and seeking to identify witnesses.
“I would appeal to local people to co-operate with them and give them any information they have.
“The murder has been condemned by local politicians and I am grateful for their appeals for people to co-operate with police.
“I am appealing for information from anyone who saw the shooting or what happened immediately afterwards in Welsh Street at 9am this morning.
“We have set up an Incident Room at Musgrave police station. I would appeal to anyone with information to contact us on the non-emergency number 101 or, if they don’t want to give their details, by using the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”