DETECTIVES believe rag-tag dissident republican group Arm Na Poblachta murdered Raymond Johnston in west Belfast home earlier this year.
As part of its investigation to catch the killers, a senior PSNI detective has made an appeal on BBC’s Crimewatch programme and revealed for the first time CCTV images of two suspects caught on camera.
Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce from the Serious Crime Branch said: “Raymond Johnston was just 28 years old when he was brutally killed inside his Glenbawn Avenue home, in front of his terrified partner and her young daughter, on 13 February 2018.
“CCTV footage captured outside Mr Johnston’s home shows two hooded men approaching the house at around 7.45pm and making their way inside. One of these men is clearly armed with a weapon.
“The first male appears to open the door and you can see the second male is carrying what we believe is a long barrelled firearm.
“They go into the home and less than 10 seconds later, the pair emerge having shot Raymond Johnston in the chest, killing him.
“Raymond’s family, his partner and her daughter have been left devastated. Not only did they lose Raymond in the most brutal fashion, but his partner and her daughter also witnessed his horrific murder.
“The trauma of witnessing such a cold, clinical and brutal killing will be etched in their memories for the rest of their lives.
“They didn’t deserve this and there is absolutely no justification for murdering Raymond.
“Today we are also prepared to publicly state that we believe Arm na Poblachta, who claim to be a dissident republican terrorist group, were directly involved in Raymond’s murder.
“The gunmen deliberated, planned and carried out the murder of Raymond Johnston brazenly, coldly and clinically.
“We need to identify the perpetrators and take them off the streets in order to prevent further murders from taking place.
“I am asking people living in the Glenbawn area to search their memories and consciences. Try to recall where you were on the day before Valentine’s Day, did you see Raymond that Tuesday, did you see the gunmen approach his house?
“We have made arrests and carried out searches as part of this investigation and we are making progress, however I would plead with the community to help us take that next step to unmask these killers.
“No matter how trivial or inconsequential you think a detail might be, please tell us.
“It could be the missing piece of the jigsaw that helps us solve this savage murder and lead us to those who are responsible.
“Please call us on 101, or, if you would prefer you can provide information anonymously and in complete confidence via the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”