Northern Ireland news

Video: CCTV footage of murdered journalist Lyra McKee and gunman released

CCTV footage released by police shows the gunman standing close to a PSNI Land Rover.
Seamus McKinney

The PSNI officer leading the investigation into the death of journalist Lyra McKee last night issued CCTV footage of the murder victim shortly before she was fatally wounded.

The footage shows Ms McKee in a crowd near a police Land Rover as well as the gunman responsible for her murder.

Ms McKee (29), a prominent LGBT activist, died from a gunshot wound to the head when she was shot during serious rioting in Derry’s Creggan on Thursday night. Police have blamed dissident republican group, the New IRA for the murder.

Trouble flared in Creggan when police moved into the area on Thursday night to search the home of a relative of a leading dissident republican. The search was linked to a planned Easter Monday commemoration and came after organisers said republicans would defend themselves against any police move against the march.

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Ms McKee was shot while standing beside a PSNI Land Rover at Fanad Drive in Creggan shortly after 11pm on Thursday. Video footage showed a masked gunman firing from a handgun. Police officers placed her in a Land Rover and drove through a burning barricade to get her to hospital but she died a short time later.

Calling off Monday’s commemoration following Ms McKee’s murder, the organisers described her death as “tragic and accidental”. Dissident republican group, Saoradh also described the gunman responsible as a “republican volunteer” who, they said, was attempting to defend people against police.

However, while Monday's Easter commemoration in Derry has been cancelled, it is understood Saoradh are to go ahead with an event outside the GPO in Dublin today.

The senior detective leading the murder investigation, Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said police were releasing CCTV footage from Thursday night – which also showed people lifting spent cartridges – to encourage people to come forward.

“We have already received a large number of calls and information from the public and I would like to thank them for their support and for their willingness to come forward and to try to help us take a killer off the streets,” he said.

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Mr Murphy said people saw the gunman and those who goaded young people onto the streets.

“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,” he said.

It was also confirmed last night that a 30-year-old man had been charged in connection with Thursday’s disturbances. The man was charged with a number of offences, including discharging a firework, throwing a firework and disorderly behaviour. He is due to appear at Derry magistrate’s court on May 15.

In an unprecedented show of unity, leaders and representatives of all the main parties – including DUP leader, Arlene Foster – gathered at a vigil in Ms McKee’s honour in Creggan yesterday.

Ms McKee’s murder has been widely condemned. Irish President, Michael D Higgins signed a book of condolences opened in her memory while Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said he was “full of sadness”.

The Taoiseach said: “We cannot allow those who want to propagate violence, fear and hate to drag us back to the past.”

Prime Minster, Theresa May said her death was shocking and senseless.

“She was a journalist who died doing her job with great courage,” Mrs May said.

Statements of condemnation were also issued by Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, Derry’s bishops, Donal McKeown and Ken Goode and European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani.

The leaders of Northern Ireland’s five main parties also issued a joint statement condemning Ms McKee’s murder.

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