Northern Ireland news

Malcolm McKeown shot six times in 'brutal and barbaric' execution

CCTV footage of Malcolm McKeown at the filling station before he was shot dead.

A MAN murdered in a criminal feud was shot six times in the head and body in a "brutal and barbaric" execution style killing.

Career criminal Malcolm McKeown was found dead in his silver BMW behind Dewart's service station in Waringstown, Co Down, on Monday night.

The shooting, is being linked to organised crime gangs. It is understood 10 shots were fired, six of which hit the victim.

Two men, aged 28 and 20, who were arrested yesterday have since been released unconditionally.

One of the two presented at Musgrave Police Station yesterday morning with his solicitor by prior arrangement.

Police said searches were ongoing in the Lurgan and Waringstown areas.

The father-of-three's body was found by two teenagers at around 9pm on Monday. However it is thought the shooting took place some time earlier.

The victim had gone into Dewart's at about 7.15pm and it is believed to have been shot in his car when he came out a few minutes later.

Police released CCTV footage yesterday that showed McKeown in the service station - which is just yards from his address at Main Street of the small Co Down village.

A brother of LVF killers Trevor and Clifford McKeown he was well known to police and had himself previously been charged in connection with the murder of couple Jackie and Hugh McGeough, who were shot dead in 2011.

However, the charged against him were dropped over questionable DNA evidence.

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Mr McKeown was due to appear in court earlier on Monday on a charge of aggravated burglary just days after being released on bail.

The charge against him was connected to an incident in Lisburn, last November last year during which a householder was allegedly tied up and robbed.

Police have appealed to the public for information about the movements of the victim's car and a second vehicle which was found burnt out after the attack.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery said: "Malcolm McKeown was shot up to six times at close range in broad daylight on Monday evening. His body was found slumped in his car which was parked at the side of a garage in Waringstown on Main Street at 9pm with gunshot wounds to his head and body.

"I believe he was murdered earlier in the evening at around 7.15pm. Two teenage boys discovered his body, which is something no child should ever have to witness. It is simply unacceptable."

Police are keen to trace the driver or passengers of a dark blue or black Volkswagen Passat RK62 PLX that was seen driving on Cambrai Heights in Waringstown before the shooting.

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie said he knew the victim, who had attended his constituency office on several occasions in the past.

"The police need to get on and do their job in respect of this horrible murder," he said.

"Yet again we see guns on our streets and that's not acceptable in any shape or form."

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