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Cold-blooded killer of Jim Donegan must be apprehended

The murder of Jim Donegan as he waited to collect his son from school was a crime of the utmost ruthlessness, the type of chilling deed which was all too familiar during the Troubles and which we hoped never to see again.

Mr Donegan was shot eight times as he sat in his car outside St Mary's Grammar School on the Glen Road in west Belfast on Tuesday afternoon.

It was a murder which took place in front of a large number of people on this busy road, including many children leaving school in the area.

We can only imagine the trauma this has caused to all those, especially the young people, exposed to such a horrific act of violence.

Reports suggest Mr Donegan's 13-year-old son was one of those who came upon the scene just after the killing.

It is truly disturbing to think how this young boy will be affected by the shocking events of Tuesday.

As Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery said, the callous actions of the gunman will have 'catastrophic psychological effects' on all those caught up in this shocking crime.

The devastation caused to the family of the victim is, of course, incalculable. Their anguish was all too evident when they visited the murder scene some hours after hearing the shattering news.

It is not clear what motive lay behind this shooting or who was behind it with the PSNI reluctant to disclose details about the weapon used or discuss the background of the victim.

However, police have released CCTV images of the lone gunman, who can be seen walking slowly along the Glen Road prior to the shooting then running back the way he came immediately afterwards.

The fact that this man has been caught on camera and that he passed a number of witnesses, should hopefully ensure he is swiftly identified and apprehended.

Anyone who can assist the police in their investigation into the cold-blooded murder of Mr Donegan should come forward as a matter of urgency.

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