Latest: Belfast shooting victim killed in front of 11-year-old child

Update 2.27pm: The murder of a man in front of his partner and an 11-year-old child is "chilling", police said.

Raymond Johnston, 28, was shot dead with a shotgun in Poleglass in West Belfast at around 8pm on Tuesday at a house in Glenbawn Avenue.

Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce said: "It is just unacceptable that someone would produce a weapon and open fire in any circumstances.

"However, it is particularly chilling that this attack took place in front of his partner and an 11-year-old child in his own living room."

Raymond Johnston - A man, in his late 20s, has died after he was shot in west Belfast.

He wants to hear from anyone who witnessed a man wearing a blue coat with fur around the hood make off from the scene, getting into a black car with tinted windows which drove away, as well as anyone with any other information.

He added: "While a definitive motive for the shooting has not been established we are exploring a number of possible lines of inquiry."

Local police will continue to maintain a presence in the area to provide reassurance to residents.

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley said: "This horrific and sickening murder took place on a quiet, residential street as parents put their children to bed.

"There is absolutely no place in society for those who carried out this brutal murder."

Raymond Johnston's partner Eileen and her eldest daughter arrive at the murder scene.

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey said the whole community was sickened.

Sinn Fein councillor Stephen Magennis said the community was outraged by the attack.

SDLP councillor Brian Heading said it was a "monstrous" criminal act and reminiscent of violent scenes from the past.

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long said it was a shocking murder.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Update 10.12am: Belfast shooting victim Raymond Johnson killed in 'monstrous' act

A man shot dead in West Belfast has been named locally as Raymond Johnston.

He was aged in his late 20s and was gunned down in Poleglass around 8pm last night.

He was targeted at a house in Glenbawn Avenue.

An 11-year-old girl as well as the man's partner were reportedly in the room at the time.

Police and paramedics at the scene tonight of a fatal shooting at Glenbawn Avenue in the Poleglass area of west Belfast.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery said detectives from the PSNI were working to establish a motive and appealed for anyone with information to contact police.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Stephen Magennis said the community was outraged by the attack.

SDLP councillor Brian Heading said it was a "monstrous" criminal act and reminiscent of violent scenes from the past.

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long said it was a shocking murder.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley said: "This horrific and sickening murder took place on a quiet, residential street as parents put their children to bed.

"There is absolutely no place in society for those who carried out this brutal murder."

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey voiced similar views and said the whole community was sickened.

Update 8.37am: Man shot dead in Belfast attacked infront of daughter, neighbours say

Neighbours say a man shot dead in west Belfast last night was attacked in front of his young daughter.

Police say the victim in his late 20s was shot at a house at Glenbawn Avenue in Poleglass just before eight last night.

They have launched a murder inquiry and are investigating the motive.

Mother of six Elizabeth Brown was first to arrive at the scene of the shooting and says her children could have been caught up in it.

She said: "My youngest is three, up to 16, they were out playing on the street when this happened.

"It is absolutely disgusting, how do you bring your kids up in this place?

"I'm thinking of packing my clothes and going because I can't live like that, it is absolutely ridiculous."

Earlier: Murder hunt underway following fatal shooting in Belfast

A man has been shot dead in west Belfast.

The victim, aged in his late 20s, was gunned down in Poleglass around 8pm.

He was shot dead at a house in Glenbawn Avenue.

It is understood other family members were in the property when the murder took place.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery said: "The male victim, who was in his late 20s, died after being shot just before 8pm.

"At this time we are working to establish a motive for the attack and are appealing for anyone with information which may assist us with our inquiries to contact us."

Local councillor Stephen Magennis said the local community was outraged by the attack.

"This community is stunned and outraged at this latest brutal killing," said the Sinn Féin representative.

"I have spoken to some of the victim's family and friends and they are obviously devastated and in a state of shock.

"There can be absolutely no justification for this murder which was carried out in the most brutal fashion.

"The people carrying out these attacks are bringing nothing but death and destruction. They need to be condemned and should get off the backs of this community.

"I would appeal to anyone who has any information about this attack to bring it to the PSNI."

SDLP councillor Brian Heading said: "The entire community in West Belfast is in shock this evening. These are scenes that we thought we had left far behind us.

"Those responsible for this monstrous criminal act must be caught and they must be brought to justice. There is no room in this city or in this society for those intent on murder and mayhem and who will commit the most heinous crimes.

"I'm calling on anyone with information to please come forward to police. These thugs cannot be allowed to bully this strong community into silence. They cannot dominate us, we cannot let them."

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long tweeted: "Shocking murder in West Belfast this evening. My thoughts are with the victim's family at this time.

"I would appeal for anyone with any information to contact the PSNI. Whilst those responsible are free on our streets, the community is not safe."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

- Digital Desk


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