Takeaway driver shot in the head was lured to death by fake fast food order
Published 10/05/2016 | 17:24
A takeaway delivery driver was lured to his death by a bogus fast food order, detectives have revealed.
Dan Murray, a 55-year-old father of six, was shot in the head when he drove into the Lady Street area of west Belfast on Monday night.
Mr Murray, who was known to police and had survived a previous murder bid, had been dispatched in his black Ford Focus to deliver food to a house in the street.
Detectives said the order was actually called in from a phone box around a mile away at the junction of the Antrim Road and Cliftonville Road.
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Detective Chief Inspector Richard Campbell said: "We believe it is likely that the gunman or gunmen were waiting for Mr Murray in the area."
The killing was the latest in a spate of shootings in the north and west of Belfast. The murder was the fourth gun attack in the city in four days.
Mr Campbell said it was too early to determine if dissident republican elements were involved. He said he had not ruled out a drug-linked motive.
In regard to a previous murder bid on Mr Murray last year, the investigating officer said: "That will form part of my investigation to establish whether there is any link between that previous incident and his tragic murder last night."
He said detectives would also be working to establish whether Mr Murray had been informed of a direct threat to his life in recent times.
Mr Campbell added: "This was a brutal attack. It has robbed a family of a partner, father and brother and it's important for the local community to help us by coming forward with any information they may have."
In a joint statement, Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness condemned the recent shootings as "barbaric and wrong".
"We unreservedly condemn the actions of the perpetrators who care only for themselves," they said.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families, and in particular the family of Daniel Murray who was shot dead.
"Anyone with information about the attacks should bring it to the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) immediately."
Sinn Fein MP for the area Paul Maskey condemned the killing "unreservedly".
"There can be no place in our society for such actions," he said.
"Those behind this incident have nothing to offer the community and need to stop these futile actions immediately.
"I would appeal for anyone with information on this shooting to bring it forward to the PSNI."
SDLP west Belfast Assembly member Alex Attwood said: "I condemn this atrocity. All with information should tell the police so that everything that can be done is done to pursue those who use the gun.
"This is one of a series of incidents. There is a pattern of violence including murder. The few seek to impose their will over the heads of the people.
"This threat needs to be assessed and addressed at policing and political levels. The huge numbers of good people, our older citizens and young families who live amid this threat need new actions and renewed hope that the threat will be comprehensively faced down."
Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan condemned what he described as a "sickening murder".
"In recent days there have been a number of shootings in the city," he said.
"My thoughts are with the family and friends of all those affected.
"I stand in solidarity with the communities of north and west Belfast against those criminals who inflict fear. Such thuggish behaviour has no place on our streets.
"I encourage anyone with information on these attacks to contact the PSNI."