DETECTIVES from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team investigating the murder of border butcher Robbie Lawlor in North Belfast on Saturday, April 4 have appealed for information about a hooded man who was seen close to the scene of the murder in Ardoyne.
Lawlor, 36, was shot dead outside a house in Etna Drive at around 11.50 am.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery said: “My investigation into this brutal killing continues to progress.
“It’s been over a week and a half since the brutal, broad daylight killing and I have received reports of a person, wearing a black jacket with the hood up, carrying a holdall while walking along Jamaica Way towards Old Park.
“I would like this person to come forward to police so they can be eliminated from my enquiries. I would also like to hear from anyone who noticed someone matching this description that day.
“I am also still appealing for witnesses to both the murder of Mr Lawlor and also the setting fire to the silver Volkswagen Scirocco car, registration YLZ 7052, which was discovered burnt out in nearby Kingston Court shortly after the shooting to come forward.
“I believe it was brought from Newry on March 31 and taken into the Ardoyne that evening. It was parked in Estoril Park in Ardoyne the day before the murder, on Friday, April 3 at 10 am.
“I know it was stolen in the Republic of Ireland on January 30th.
“I still want to hear from anyone who saw it or witnessed its movements between March 31st and Friday, April 3rd in Estoril Park until it was found burnt out on Saturday 4th at approximately midday in Kingston Court.
“I would ask anyone who drove along the Crumlin Road on March 31st between 7.30pm and 7.40pm to check if they have dashcam footage for that journey and if so to contact the incident room.
“This was a horrific and callous murder, carried out in close range and in broad daylight, and those involved need to be removed from the streets and our communities.
“At this stage, I believe that a single gunman was involved in the killing, firing multiple shots at the victim and striking him a number of times. The murder weapon has not yet been recovered.
“These dangerous people, who didn’t think twice about bringing guns and bullets into this local community where children were out playing in their gardens, need to be removed from society.
“And while I would like to thank those who have come forward with information so far, I know there are people living in Ardoyne who have not yet come forward to police with information.
“I understand that people may be frightened to talk to us but I will ensure anyone’s anonymity for the purpose of this investigation.
“I would also appeal to any motorists or taxi drivers who were in the area at that time and have dashcam footage to please bring it forward to police.
“I am still keen to hear from anyone who saw this car and its occupants either before 11.50am on Saturday 4 April or after the murder had taken place.
“I am also interested in speaking to anyone who was in the Etna Drive or Strathroy Park areas on Saturday, April 4 and again if any drivers or taxi drivers have dashcam footage during those times I would urge them to bring it police.
“If anyone in the area captured any footage of the incident please make that available to us also. It can be uploaded on the Major Incident Public Portal at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/PSNI20P04-PO1.
“And information can be provided to police on 101, the incident room on 02890 2595422, or anonymously through the Crime Stoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”