The grief-stricken mother of a man shot dead in east Belfast by an off-duty PSNI officer has died suddenly.
Janet Ringland, thought to be in her 40s, the mother of Marc Alex Ringland (29), was admitted to Belfast City Hospital and died on Sunday. The cause of death is not yet clear.
Mr Ringland died from a gunshot to the chest during an attempted robbery at a petrol station on the Albertbridge Road at 7pm on February 3.
Around 20 investigators from the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman's Office are working to establish exactly what led to the shooting.
There were reports that Mr Ringland was holding a knife to a staff member’s throat when the officer fired, but this has yet to be confirmed.
The Ringland family’s solicitor Denis Moloney said Marc’s death had taken its toll on the whole family and that he was “shocked and stunned” to learn of Janet’s death.
“I was with Janet on Friday afternoon,” he said.
“She was absolutely beside herself with grief. There was not a word of anger or bitterness, just a mother bereft, being caught up in circumstances out of her control.
“Behind every story and set of events there is a mother, a father and a family.
“Her husband William is lost and adrift, and my deep sympathy is with them all as they attempt to come to terms with a second loss in a matter of weeks.”
He added: “This is a tragedy for Marc, for the police officer under investigation and the whole Ringland family.
“Tragedy compounded again by the sudden death of Marc’s good mother Janet.”
He said conflicting reports about what happened on the night Marc died had been “haunting his mother”.
Mr Ringland’s funeral was on February 10 and his family were due to meet with the Police Ombudsman today to try to establish the truth about the last moments of his life.
“There have been so many versions of the events that night, Mrs Ringland wanted clarification for her own peace of mind,” Mr Moloney said.
“Reports had been haunting Janet and in the intervening period she has died.
“Janet died not knowing the full facts of what happened to her son.”