Sunday 15 September 2019

Two teenagers arrested over Lyra McKee murder released without charge

Murdered journalist Lyra McKee . Photo: PSNI/PA
Murdered journalist Lyra McKee . Photo: PSNI/PA Newsdesk Newsdesk

Two teenagers arrested in connection with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee have been released without charge.

The males, aged 18 and 19, were released on Sunday evening, the PSNI confirmed.

Lyra was shot in the head during disturbances in the Creggan area of Derry on Thursday evening.

Detectives from PSNI Major Investigation Team continue to appeal for help from the local community in Creggan.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said: “We have received very positive support from the community but we need to convert this support into tangible evidence that will enable us to bring Lyra’s killers to justice.

"We will continue to work positively and sensitively with the local community to achieve this.

“I am continuing to appeal for those people who were in Fanad Drive and Central Drive on Thursday night and who have mobile phone footage to please come and speak with my detectives and provide us with your mobile phone footage.

"We do not need to hold on to your phone, we have necessary equipment that will allow us to download the footage quickly. Alternatively, you can use the Major Incident Public Portal at to upload footage or to tell us what they know.

“I know there will be some people who know what happened but are scared to come forward but if you have information, no matter how small, please contact detectives in the incident room on 101 or via the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111 which is 100pc anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

McKee was shot in the head by suspects who police believe were dissident republicans linked to the New IRA on the Creggan estate in Derry on Thursday night.

CCTV released by Police Service Northern Ireland captured her final moments at around 10pm, when she stood among a crowd of other innocent bystanders and raised her phone in the air, apparently to photograph the violence.

Police, who described the shooting as a "terrorist incident", believe the violence was orchestrated in response to an earlier search by officers aimed at averting imminent trouble associated with this week's anniversary of the Easter Rising.

Around 50 petrol bombs were thrown in the confrontation and two cars were burned out.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy, who leads the inquiry, described the murder as "senseless and appalling beyond belief".

"People saw the gunman and people saw those who goaded young people out onto the streets, people know who they are," he said.

"The answers to what happened last night lie within the community.

"I am asking people to do the right thing for Lyra McKee, for her family and for the city of Derry/Londonderry and help us stop this madness."

Earlier today, Ms McKee's heartbroken partner asked mourners to wear clothes inspired by Harry Potter and Marvel at the 29-year-old journalist's funeral.

Funeral details were released by her partner Sara Canning today, with the ceremony to take place on Wednesday at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast.

"It’s going to be a celebration of her life and if people would like to wear Hufflepuff, Harry Potter, or Marvel related items I know she would love it," Ms Canning said.

Belfast Telegraph

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