DETECTIVES say the man who was shot dead yesterday in west Belfast was Warren Crossan.

The 28 year old was gunned down at close range by two masked men on St Katherine’s Road yesterday afternoon.

The officer leading the murder investigation, DCI Darren McCartney described the killing as ‘brutal and callous’.

“To bring firearms onto a residential street in broad daylight simply beggars belief,” said DCI McCartney.

“The gunmen did not give any thought to the risk posed to local people in this community when they ran through the streets firing shots, at least one of which struck a vehicle owned by a resident.

“It is too early to speculate on the motive for this callous murder and, over coming days, I will be working to piece together all the information and evidence.

“I know the community is in shock but I would appeal to anyone who has information about this appalling murder to bring that forward to the police so that we can remove these dangerous gunmen from the streets.

“I would like to hear from anyone who saw the victim being chased by the two gunmen in the Rodney Drive, St James’s Road, Rodney Parade and St Katharines Road areas before the shooting.

“We are interested in Warren’s movement prior to the shooting. 

“We know he left his home in the Crumlin area shorty before 11am in a dark metallic blue Skoda Octavia.   

“He was next observed parking the vehicle at the family home in Rodney Parade at approximately 12.40pm. 

“We are keen to hear from anyone who saw Warren during this time.

“Any information you can provide no matter how trivial, could be important and help us in solving the murder.

“I am aware the area was busy with pedestrians and motorists so I am asking anyone who may have captured any footage of the incident to please make that available to us also.

“I have made the Major Incident Public Portal available, which can be accessed at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/PSNI20P10-PO1.

“It can be accessed from any device with internet access and videos and images can be uploaded onto it.

“Anyone with any information about this incident or who may be able to help with our investigation, is asked to call us on the non-emergency number 101, or submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via  https://mipp.police.uk.

“You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/

Warren Crossan was a well known dissident republican.

He was arrested in April by detectives investigating the murder of Dublin criminal Robert Lawlor in north Belfast.

Detectives suspected Crossan had a supplied a car to Lawlor’s killers who had lured him to a house in the Ardoyne area.

The PSNI said they have not established a motive for the killing, but have not ruled out organised crime links.

But line of enquiry is that his murder was in revenge for Lawlor’s slaying.

The dead man was the son of well-known dissident republican Tommy Crossan, who was shot dead on the Springfield Road, Belfast, in 2014.

Convicted terrorist Tommy Crossan was blasted to death as he worked at a petrol pump.

Detectives believe he was shot dead by the INLA.

Several INLA terrorists were arrested over the murder but no one was ever charged.

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