Friday 22 September 2017

Father shot dead in front of son in busy car park

Forensic experts examine the scene of the shooting in Bangor, Co Down. Picture: Presseye
Forensic experts examine the scene of the shooting in Bangor, Co Down. Picture: Presseye

David Young

Terrified shoppers dived for cover as a man was murdered in front of his young son in a crowded supermarket car park.

The killers fired off half-a-dozen bullets as they shot loyalist Colin Horner a few yards from the doors of a Sainsbury's store in Bangor, Co Down.

It's understood the victim's children were in the car with their father when the violent attack took place.

An alert was sounded on the tannoy and shoppers fled, leaving their trolleys in the aisles.

Emergency First Responders rushed to help the wounded victim, keeping him alive until an ambulance crew arrived.

Sainsbury's employee Robson McCracken said: "A car drew up and shot a man in the car park, just outside the store. There was panic in the store, with trolleys abandoned everywhere."

It is believed the individuals who carried out the attack were not wearing masks or balaclavas.

The PSNI confirmed that the 35-year-old victim had died from his injuries. Police believe there may have been more than 100 witnesses to the shooting.

Superintendent Brian Kee said: "Our thoughts are very much with the family of the 35-year-old victim at this extremely difficult time, and I condemn this brutal, senseless and horrendous killing.

"This cold-blooded murder was carried out in broad daylight in front of families who were out enjoying this bank holiday weekend.

"The recklessness of this murder is all too evident. It is beyond belief that the gunman shot the victim when he was out with his son.

"This young boy witnessed everything and he will undoubtedly carry that memory for the rest of his life. We are very lucky that we are not also dealing with the death of this child today.

"The gunman also showed total disregard for the safety of the public, including other children, who were in the car park at the time of the attack."

Condemnation of the murder was led by British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire. "Deeply disturbed by news of the shooting in the Sainsbury's car park in Bangor. A brutal act of violence that has no place in Northern Ireland," he said.

Stormont Green Party MLA Steven Agnew, who represents North Down, said: "It's very shocking that this took place in broad daylight on a busy shopping day, with children and families present. A large number of people will have been shocked by this incident.

"Anyone who has witnessed it or was nearby, undoubtedly, this will live long in their memory."

Alliance MLA and former Stormont minister Stephen Farry said it had "sent shockwaves" through Bangor. He said: "This was a brutal incident, made all the more reckless and shocking by the fact it took place in a busy supermarket car park on a Sunday afternoon."

Sainsbury's said the store would be closed while the PSNI carried out their investigation into the murder.

Last night, it was learned that the PSNI were carrying out a series of swoops on premises in Carrickfergus in the wake of the supermarket car park killing.

Irish Independent

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