Video: PSNI reveal Co Antrim murder victim David Murphy shot twice with shotgun
THE PSNI have said they believe a man found dead at his home in Co Antrim had been shot with a shotgun.
The body of David Murphy (52) was discovered by a friend of the deceased yesterday afternoon at his home in Glenwherry, Co Antrim.
People in the area say Murphy had been involved in an altercation days before his death, when he was set upon by a gang of men.
In March 2018 he was released on bail charged in connection with a suspected extortion plot targeting a man who was told to hand over £10,000. Murphy, described in court as a cattle and sheep farmer, was due to stand trial this year for blackmail and threats to kill.
Detective Superindendent Jason Murphy
In 2004 he was convicted of possessing a sub-machine gun, four pistols, ammunition and paramilitary-style clothing thought to belong to the UVF.
PSNI Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said the victim had been shot twice and his body was found in the kitchen area of his house.
"We haven't recovered the gun at the scene and part of my appeal to the public is to help us find where that weapon is. If the public find weapons that have either been discarded or hidden, we would ask them to contact us."
Mr Murphy said the 52-year-old victim was known to police.
Police continue to work at the scene of the murder
He said the PSNI are trying to piece together Mr Murphy's movements between Saturday lunchtime and Tuesday before he was found dead.
The detective said it is not known when the victim died but PSNI believe he was alive on Saturday.
Mr Murphy said police are keeping an open mind about a possible motive for the killing and refused to speculate on reports of paramilitary involvement.
"I don't have any clear definition of the motive or the people involved in David's murder but what I can say is that his murder was without justification," he said.
"David's murder was an attack not just on him but on his family, his parents, his siblings and his community. David thought he was safe in his home and someone brutally took his life over the past few days.
"I'm very keen to fill in some of the gaps around David's life, around his lifestyle, around his associations. I'm particularly interested to understand David's movements between Saturday and Tuesday lunchtime. I need to know more about where he was, who he was with and what he was doing so we can properly assess whether his movements on the weekend are relevant to the investigation into his death."
Mr Murphy appealed for anyone with information or members of the public who were in the Church Road area between Saturday and Tuesday to come forward.
Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson condemned the attack.
"This is a shocking incident and my thoughts are with the loved ones of the deceased at what must be an extremely sad time for them," he said.
"It will have caused great distress in what is a quiet rural area."
Sinn Féin's Oliver McMullan said the local community was in shock.
"This is a quiet area and locals are alarmed at what has happened," he said.
The SDLP's Declan O'Loan said: "The lesson is that these shadowy forces who wreak such havoc need to be rooted out of our society."