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Bangor fatal shooting: Police probe drug link

PSNI officers investigating the murder of a man in Bangor are probing a possible drugs-related motive behind the shooting.

The man in his 50s was shot dead in a house on Hazelbrook Avenue, in the Clandeboye Road area, shortly after 12pm yesterday.

The victim was shot a number of times in the chest.

It is understood a number of masked men forced their way into the property and opened fire.

Police have not released the dead man’s name.

A second man in his 40s was also shot and injured during the incident. Last night he was in a stable condition in hospital.

The shooting, which took place close to two primary schools, has left the local community in shock.

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A witness told the Belfast Telegraph that the men were seen buying alcohol at a nearby shop at 11.30am.

The witness said: “They are well-known in this area, but don’t live here. I think the murdered man is from the Shankill and the injured man from the Whitehill area of Bangor.

“They seemed in good spirits when they were seen early. They got some drink and went back to the house.”

There are reports that the shooting may be linked to a loyalist feud. Within an hour-and-a-half of the fatal shooting police arrested one man in the Ormeau Road area of south Belfast.

According to witnesses, police cars surrounded a vehicle and the man was immediately put into a forensic boiler suit.

Chief Superintendent Nigel Grimshaw said both victims were known to police and it was “crime-related, not terrorist-related”.

“Whatever the circumstances, an individual from somebody's family has died today,” said Mr Grimshaw. “I will not speculate on a motive. It is crime-related, not terrorist-related.

“That is a tragedy for Bangor. It's not something that the community are used to, nor is it something that I want them to become used to.

“I want people to be assured that we are out there, they will see us. They should not be overly concerned in terms of this kind of incident happening.

“A full and complicated investigation will be taken forward.”

Relatives of some of the victims later arrived at the scene.

A neighbour said: “It was very sad and distressing to watch.”

DUP MLA Peter Weir said: “I am shocked and horrified. This is normally a very quiet area of Bangor and I think a lot of the residents will be deeply disturbed by what has happened.

“There can be no justification for this crime. I praise the police for their swift reaction. But I also believe it is important that anyone who has any information must come forward to the police.”

Alliance MLA Stephen Farry also condemned the murder as “despicable”.

He said: “It is appalling that someone has lost their life in this incident and the family and friends of the man that died are in my thoughts at this time of tragedy.”

Anyone with information about the murder has been asked to contact detectives on 0845 600 8000.

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