Belfast Telegraph

Guns seized during suspect's arrest

Police who arrested a murder suspect after a seven-day manhunt seized three guns in the operation.

Officers on both sides of the Irish border had been searching for 58-year-old Kieran McLaughlin following the murder of Barry McCrory, 35, in Londonderry last Thursday.

He was finally detained around 3am today in the garden of a house in the Gallaigh area of the city.

It is understood he was armed, but no shots were fired during the operation.

Police revealed that three suspected firearms - two handguns and a shotgun - were subsequently recovered.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin said members of the community played a "vital role" in the arrest operation.

He said Mr McLaughlin was "swiftly" taken into custody when his location was eventually established. A Taser stun gun was not deployed.

"We have got the safe conclusion that everyone wanted, that no one else was harmed, that Mr McLaughlin hasn't been harmed and he is safely under arrest," said Mr Martin.

The officer added: "This has been a difficult week, most of all for the McCrory family but also for the McLaughlin family and for the people of this city.

"We think about them today and I would like to thank the people of the city for their fortitude and their patience as we have conducted our policing operation over the last few days."

Mr McCrory was shot by a lone gunman inside the flat he shared with his partner on Shipquay Street in Derry city centre. She was bundled into another room in the apartment before the fatal shots were fired.

Mr McLaughlin's family had urged him to hand himself over to the authorities.

The six-hour arrest operation began in the Irish Republic yesterday evening when Mr McLaughlin was spotted in a silver car in Co Donegal.

Gardai followed the vehicle until it crossed over the border into Northern Ireland, when the PSNI took over.

The car was subsequently abandoned and another vehicle was taken.

At around 3am Mr McLaughlin was found behind a car parked in a garden in the Fern Park area of Londonderry.

Mr Martin, the PSNI's district commander in the city, confirmed that a number of firearms were recovered in the operation.

"I can confirm that we recovered three suspected firearms in the early hours of this morning - they are two handguns and one shotgun," he said.

The officer thanked all the police officers involved, including those gardai who had co-operated with the PSNI in the cross border search.

Around 100 PSNI officers were deployed in the hunt for Mr McLaughlin on each day of the operation.


From Belfast Telegraph