DETECTIVES from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team have launched a murder enquiry after a man was shot dead outside a house in Etna Drive in North Belfast at around 11.50 am today.
Police received reports that a man, believed to be in his 40s, was shot a number of times and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy of MIT said: “This was a brutal killing and I believe the man was shot a number of times at close range.
“I am astounded by the recklessness of the killer or killers. Not only did they carry out this callous murder leaving a family experiencing their worst nightmare, but they did not care that children and other members of this North Belfast community were placed at risk.
“Murder is a heinous crime and killing someone during this global Coronavirus pandemic is sickening when people are trying to adjust to living a new way and trying to cope with the pressures this brings.
“Those involved in this murder selfishly gave no thought to the impact on frontline emergency services who are already working hard to keep people safe with an already stretched resource.
“I have now launched a murder investigation and while it is too early to speculate on the motive for the murder I can confirm that I am following a number of lines of enquiry in respect of the investigation.
“A light coloured car, registration YLZ 7052, was found burned out in nearby Kingston Court and I am currently seeking to establish what relevance this car has to my investigation.
“I would like to hear from anyone who saw this car and its occupants either before 11.50 am in the Etna Drive area or after the murder had taken place.
“I am also appealing for information about a dark coloured vehicle which was seen in Ardoyne Ave minutes after the car had been set on fire.
“I know the community is in shock at the moment but I would appeal to anyone who has information about this appalling murder to bring that information forward to the police so that we can remove this dangerous gunman and his associates from the streets.
“I am aware the area was busy with pedestrians and people out in their front gardens so I am asking anyone who may have captured any footage of the incident to please make that available to us also.
“I have activated the Major Incident Public Portal which can be accessed at mipp.police.uk.
“The investigation team can be contacted by calling 101, quoting reference 562 04/04/20.”