Wednesday 20 February 2019

'Senseless and callous' murder of father-of-two condemned by police

Woman is fighting for her life

Wayne Boylan died after the shooting in Warrenpoint Photo: Newraypics.com
Wayne Boylan died after the shooting in Warrenpoint Photo: Newraypics.com

Rebecca Black and David Young

A woman is fighting for life after a man was shot dead in a gun attack at Warrenpoint.

Police have launched a murder inquiry after the shooting on the Lower Dromore Road, close to the town’s golf club on Friday evening.

The deceased has been named by police as 37-year-old Wayne Boylan.

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce said: "It's understood two men entered a property on Lower Dromore Road at around 7.30pm last night and fatally shot Mr Boylan.

"A 21-year-old woman also sustained gunshot injuries and was taken to hospital where her condition this morning is believed to be critical ."

Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce said there remains "no clear motive" for the attack on the father-of-two.

Scene of shooting on Lower Dromore Road Warrenpoint . Photo: Newraypics.com
Scene of shooting on Lower Dromore Road Warrenpoint . Photo: Newraypics.com

He revealed that Mr Boylan had been enjoying an evening with friends at the house when the killers burst in at around 7.30pm.

"The pair, who were masked, fired at Wayne with what police believe to be a shotgun, striking him in the head and fatally injuring him," he said.

"He died at the scene.

"Pellets from the blasts also struck Wayne's friend, a 21-year-old female in the face and neck.

"She has undergone emergency surgery in hospital and remains critically ill in intensive care."

Mr Boyce said it was a "senseless and callous murder perpetrated on a completely unsuspecting man".

"Wayne was a father and his two young children have been left without their father," he said.

"He was a son, a brother and a friend.

"His murder has caused his family and friends immeasurable pain and their lives will be forever changed by his loss."

The detective said at this time there is "no clear motive" for the attack, and appealed for information.

"I am appealing directly to those who may have information about his murder," he said.

"Do you know the people involved? Please tell us what you know.

"Were you in the Lower Dromore Road area last night between 6pm and 8pm?

"Did you see the gunmen or any unusual vehicles in the area? Did you see any vehicles being driven erratically in the area of Lower Dromore Road or the dual carriageway between Newry and Warrenpoint yesterday evening around 7.30pm? Please tell us what you saw.

"We want to be able to give answers to a grieving family. To give them justice by putting his murderers behind bars."

The injured woman was rushed to Newry’s Daisy Hill Hospital for emergency treatment with serious injuries.

Community representatives told of their shock.

SDLP MLA Sinead Bradley said: “It’s awful. It’s genuinely shocking.

“I just join with the community in telling of my absolute shock that this has happened.

“I dread the news that is going to someone’s home this evening — for someone to find that somebody belonging to them has lost their life.

“Whatever the circumstances, it’s the end of somebody’s life, and it’s extremely devastating news for anybody to hear.”

Local councillor SDLP councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said: “My thoughts are with those who are involved. It’s absolutely shocking news. More details will come out as to what has happened but it is absolutely dreadful that this has happened in such a quiet community."

Sinn Fein MLA Sinead Ennis said the community had been left shaken.

“The community of Warrenpoint are shocked and stunned by this news,” she said.

“Our first thoughts are with the family of the victim. The PSNI have the area sealed off and I would appeal to anyone with information to bring it forward to assist the investigation.”

Local Independent councillor Jarlath Tinnelly also expressed shock at the murder.

“I have been told by police that a male has been shot dead tonight on the Lower Dromore Road, and there is a girl injured and taken to hospital.

“Warrenpoint generally would be a very quiet town and has seen nothing like this certainly since the end of the Troubles,” Mr Tinnelly said.

Police said: “Detectives have launched a murder investigation following the fatal shooting of a man on Lower Dromore Road, Warrenpoint around 7.30pm.

“A female has also sustained serious injuries during the incident and has been taken to hospital.

“Police are appealing for witnesses.”

Checkpoints were set up across the area and PSNI tactical support officers were also seen in the area.

The Major Investigation Team can be contacted by calling 02844 611001. Information can also be given to Crimestoppers anonymously.

Press Association

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News