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Thursday 22 August 2019

Police release CCTV footage of the gunman who fired shot

Suspect: A still from the footage released by the PSNI showing the suspect (circled)
Suspect: A still from the footage released by the PSNI showing the suspect (circled)
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

Police investigating the murder of journalist Lyra McKee released CCTV footage of the gunman who is believed to have fired the fatal shot.

A manhunt is under way for the individual responsible for the brutal attack, which PSNI officers have described as a "terrorist act, carried out by violent dissident Republicans".

Ms McKee (29) died after being shot during rioting in the Creggan area on Thursday night. Footage shows Ms McKee in a crowd of onlookers at the scene where at least 50 petrol bombs were thrown and two cars set on fire. It also shows the gunman at a corner and an individual picking up something from the ground on the same corner.

During the unrest, a gunman fired a number of shots at police, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said. Ms McKee was wounded in the incident. She was taken away in a police Land Rover to Altnagelvin Hospital but died of her injuries.

Police said they were releasing the footage "to encourage anyone with information to make contact with us".

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy is now leading the investigation and called on the people of Creggan to help bring Ms McKee's murderer to justice.

"Lyra's death is senseless and appalling beyond belief. It represents the tragic loss of promise and the loss of potential, however, it should not be the loss of hope," he said.

"We know that the people of Creggan do not support what happened and they stand with us today in outrage and disgust at the mayhem that took place on their streets."

Det Supt Murphy said that police had already received a large number of calls and information from the public relating to the murder.

"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."

Tributes have been paid to Ms McKee, who turned freelance after leaving the 'Belfast Telegraph', and has been described as a "bright, intelligent reporter".

She tweeted live from the scene of the rioting on Thursday night, saying it was "absolute madness".

Fr Joseph Gormley has been comforting Ms McKee's family, and he said they and her partner Sara Canning were in complete shock.

"Her family and her elderly mother had to come down from Belfast to see that scene. I would love if those people who fired those shots came and saw what they did in Altnagalvin last night.

"If they came over and saw that scene, of a young woman and her family. This is their Good Friday, and we have to stand beside them."

Ms McKee, originally from Belfast, rose to prominence in 2014 after a blog post called 'Letter to my 14-year-old self', in which she wrote about the struggle of growing up gay in Belfast.

Irish Independent

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