Northern Ireland news

Lyra McKee murder: Police release CCTV showing suspected gunman

Police released images of the man they believe shot dead Lyra McKee in Derry on April 18 2019. The PSNI's Jason Murphy said the image on the left shows the gunman shortly before he fired the fatal shot and then shortly afterwards on the right 
Maeve Connolly and Neil Crossey

POLICE investigating Lyra McKee's murder have released additional CCTV footage from the night she was shot in Derry and are asking for help in identifying a man they believe was reponsible for her death.

PSNI Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy appealed for people to come forward with information about a number of people seen in the video.

Three men, one said to have been carrying a crate of petrol bombs, were seen walking across Central Drive in the Creggan estate a minute before the shooting on April 18.

"I'm releasing footage today from the night of Lyra's murder and I want to appeal to anyone who recognises or knows these people to talk to us."

Dissident republican group New IRA has admitted responsibility for Ms McKee's death and apologised.

It has also emerged that forensic tests on the bullets fired suggest that a gun of a similar calibre has been used in previous paramilitary-style assaults in Creggan.

Read More: West Belfast priest Martin Magill describes 'overwhelming' response to Lyra McKee funeral appeal

"It's symptomatic of the fact that weapons of this type are in circulation in Creggan and other areas of Northern Ireland and continue to bring misery every single day to these communities,"  DS Murphy said.

Speaking about the main suspect, the PSNI officer said: "He is shorter than both of the other men and is of stocky build. It is of my belief that he is the gunman that fired indiscriminately into the crowd and placed the community and police officers at risk."

"I believe he is the person who took the life of Lyra McKee."

Read more: Lyra McKee funeral hears priest challenge politicians

DS Murphy said people would have seen the suspect and his associates.

"I think people in the community know who they are and I'm asking them today to come forward to help us," he added.

PSNI Detective Inspector Jason Murphy explains footage from night of Lyra McKee's murder

DS Murphy said he acknowledged there would be a reluctance in the Creggan community for people to speak to the PSNI.

“I recognise people living in Creggan may feel it’s difficult to come forward to speak to police," he said. "I want to provide a personal reassurance that we are able to deal with these concerns sensitively.

"At Lyra’s funeral on Wednesday we heard many messages about the potential for a better future but as I have said previously, such sentiment will all be in vain if collectively we cannot tackle the malign influence that some individuals continue to exert over our communities."

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The suspect, who police believe to be aged in his teens, appears to be carrying the gun in his right hand in one of the images.

More than 140 people have provided images, footage and other information to police, he said.

"Such information simply gets me through the door but it doesn't get me to the door of a courtroom. I need people to contact my team to talk to us about what they know," DS Murphy added.

"Whilst the community information has been coming into us I have been keen to convert this information and intelligence into tangible evidence to allow us to bring this individual to justice.

"I need the public to tell me who he is.

"I do believe the community has information that can help us unlock the key to Lyra McKee's murder. I'm not sure individuals are protecting this person, but I believe they are frightened."

He added that the gunman will carry a "very heavy conscience" over Ms McKee's murder.

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