Dad of four shot on his doorstep
The family of a father of four shot dead on his own doorstep today said they were baffled by the shooting.
The 60-year-old man, named locally as businessman Geoffrey Kerr, was gunned down at his home in Templepatrick shortly before 10pm yesterday.
While details of the incident remained unclear this morning, it is understood that his wife and son were at home at the time of the incident and that the victim was shot at the front door of his home at Lylehill Road in the village.
His father-in-law, who declined to give his name, described the murdered man as a “happy-go-lucky family man” who had recently celebrated his 60th birthday.
He said: “The whole family is absolutely baffled by what has happened. Everyone is devastated.”
Meanwhile, another family member, who was collecting items from the family home for the wife of the victim, dismissed reports that the dead man was a former member of the security forces.
A PSNI spokeswoman said it was too early to speculate on a motive for the attack and said she could not comment on whether a sectarian motive is being investigated by detectives.
She said: “The village remains closed this morning between the Old Coach Road and the Antrim Road. There are no further details with regards to last night’s shooting.”
Teams of forensic officers were at the scene of the shooting this morning which remained cordoned off and a forensic tent was situated at the side of the house.
Children making their way to school this morning had to pass by through the police cordon and many loitered by the scene before crossing through the cordon.
Two residents who know the family said they were deeply shocked when they heard the news this morning.
One woman, who did not want to be identified, said: “I didn’t hear anything overnight. It was only this morning when I woke up and saw the police cars that I realised what had happened.
“It’s a very quiet area and everyone is deeply upset,” she said.
DUP MP William McCrea said every motive must be investigated by detectives to bring the perpetrators to justice and urged the community to work with police to ensure the people behind the shooting are brought before the courts.
He continued: “On behalf of the community I would like to offer my sympathy to the family circle.
“Only a family that has been through this can understand the agony that is facing them.”
SDLP MLA Tommy Burns said residents had been left shocked by the murder on their doorsteps.
He said: “This kind of shooting has to be condemned. It brings you back to the bad old times.”
Detectives are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area last night at the time of the shooting and noticed any suspicious activity.
They can be contacted on 0845 600 8000 or freephone Crimestoppers in complete confidence on 0800 555 111.