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Jim Donegan murder: New CCTV image of Belfast school gates shooting suspect


CCTV footage of the man police suspect of murdering Jim Donegan in Belfast last week

CCTV footage of the man police suspect of murdering Jim Donegan in Belfast last week

A floral tribute left at the scene

A floral tribute left at the scene

Jim Donegan

Jim Donegan

CCTV footage of the man police suspect of murdering Jim Donegan in Belfast last week

Chilling new footage has emerged of the gunman who murdered Jim Donegan walking alongside unsuspecting school children just moments before he opened fire.

Police released the CCTV pictures yesterday afternoon as they returned to the crime scene in west Belfast one week on to issue a fresh appeal for information.

Mr Donegan - who was waiting to pick up his son from St Mary's Christian Brothers School on the Glen Road - was shot eight times after the lone gunman approached his Porsche Panamera.

The 43-year-old died instantly after he was hit in the chest and head just as hundreds of children were leaving school. His teenage son missed the assassination by seconds.

The newly released footage shows the gunman using a pedestrian crossing with primary school pupils just before he carried out the killing.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery, who is leading the murder investigation, described the images as "extremely chilling".

He said: "To do this in broad daylight, in the presence of children, is just barbaric. No child should have to witness what happened here last week. Mums, dads, grandparents, young siblings and people in the community also saw the brutal slaying.

"The callous actions of the gunman will have catastrophic psychological effects on them all. Children who should be dreaming of presents and the magic of Christmas are now, instead, having nightmares."

The officer said he believed the gunman - described as a "cold, callous and calm individual" - had killed before. It was also revealed that the killer held his hand up to stop traffic in order to cross the Glen Road and make his escape.

He was wearing a high visibility, hip-length yellow jacket, with 'Security' written on the back, dark bottoms, a grey hat or hood and carrying a black or dark bag over his shoulder. A dissident republican element is the main line of investigation.

A 47-year-old man arrested yesterday in Turf Lodge in connection with the attack was later released unconditionally. This was the third arrest made by detectives. Police also stopped traffic and spoke with parents arriving to pick up children from schools in the area yesterday.

DCI Montgomery has appealed for anyone in the vicinity at the time last week to contact police. He said the investigation was the largest he had ever assembled in his career with 40 detectives working on the case.

He added: "I need to remove this dangerous man from our streets - a man who thought it was acceptable to traumatise young children. I don't believe he wears a mask. He walks among this community and I hope someone will recognise him.

"His murderous actions have left Jim's family devastated, which is even more poignant at this time of the year. Jim was a husband, brother, father to two sons and stepfather."

Many floral tributes have been left at the murder scene by family members, including Mr Donegan's wife of two years, Laura, which read: "To my baby. I can't believe you were taken from us in such a cruel way. I promise to get justice for you. I won't stop! We always said to each other 'I wish I found you sooner, so I could love you longer'. You will forever be my always!"

Mr Donegan's funeral will take place tomorrow with requiem mass at St John the Evangelist Church in Belfast at 10am followed by a service at Roselawn Crematorium at 1pm.

Belfast Telegraph