Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Bike link to fatal park shooting

Kevin Kearney, who was found murdered in a north Belfast park

The dissident republican killer of a father-of-four may have approached his victim riding a BMX-type bike, detectives have revealed.

Kevin Kearney, 46, was gunned down in broad daylight as he walked his two dogs through Alexandra Park in north Belfast last month.

His body was found floating in a lake in the park a day later.

Mr Kearney, from nearby Dunmore Avenue, was known to police for previous offending and officers are exploring a possible drugs link as motive for the apparent vigilante attack.

Four weeks on from the murder, which was claimed by a group styling itself as the "IRA", the detective leading the investigation said officers wanted to know more about a Vortex Scorpion bike they believe could have been used.

A burned out car found in the New Lodge area of north Belfast on the day of the murder is also being potentially linked to the crime.

Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway said his officers would be asking people in the Alexandra Park area if they recognised the bike; or if they know who owns it; or if they saw someone riding it, or something similar, in the area between 8am and 10am on the morning of the murder, Tuesday October 8.

"The investigation is progressing but we still need assistance on specific points," said Mr Galloway.

"We believe the Vortex Scorpion bike may have been used by someone involved in the shooting. Do you recognise the bike? Do you know who owns it? Did you see anyone riding it on the morning of Tuesday October 8 around Dunmore Avenue or Alexandra Park?

"If you can provide any piece of information, please contact us. Kevin Kearney's family need answers and police need assistance to bring his killers before the courts."

Police are now in possession of the bike but declined to provide details on where or how it was recovered.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives on 0845 600 8000 or anonymously through independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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