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Kieran Wylie shot dead in front of two daughters in Belfast home, police reveal

Kieran Wylie had been warned he was under threat from dissident republicans.

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TSG carry out searches at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 18th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

TSG carry out searches at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 18th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

TSG carry out searches at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 18th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

TSG carry out searches at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 18th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

TSG carry out searches at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 18th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kieran Wylie was shot dead in front of his two daughters in a "brutal murder" in west Belfast last night, police have confirmed.

The first and deputy first ministers also passed on their condolences to his family. They condemned the attack and called for anyone with information to pass it to police.

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TSG carry out searches at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 18th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

TSG carry out searches at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 18th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

TSG carry out searches at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 18th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Mr Wylie was shot a number of times at close range at a house in the Lenadoon Avenue area of the city at around 10pm on Sunday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

At a press conference on Monday Detective Chief Inspector Darren McCartney said a potential dissident republic involvement was being investigated.

"Certainly one of the lines of inquiry we are investigating is that there is a violent dissident republican motive towards this murder," he said.

The detective said Mr Wylie was known to police. He said the victim had also been previously informed that he was "under threat".

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TSG carry out searches at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 18th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

TSG carry out searches at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 18th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Forensics at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 18th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Forensics at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 18th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

TSG carry out searches at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 18th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Mr McCartney said the murder had been witnessed by two of Mr Wylie's children - his 16 and 28-year-old daughters.

"The lifelong effect of what they witnessed last night are unimaginable," he said.

DCI McCartney added his thoughts were with Mr Wylie's family, particularly his two children who had witnessed the "brutal" shooting.

First Minister Arlene Foster expressed her "revulsion" at the shooting

Speaking at the daily Covid-19 press conference, the DUP leader said: "I would like to start today's press conference by expressing my revulsion at the shooting of Kieran Wylie in west Belfast last night.

"At a time when we are trying to protect ourselves from the invisible threat of Covid-19 and our emergency services are working hard to deal with people's concerns, it is particularly reprehensible that some people can callously take a person's life and we urge anyone with any information that can help identify those responsible to assist the police with their investigation."

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Forensics at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 17th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Forensics at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 17th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Forensics at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 17th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Local residents tried to help Mr Wylie in the aftermath of the attack.

On Monday white boiler-suited police forensics officers combed the scene, a smartly-painted terraced property with flowers in the window and fronted by black railings, for clues.

An ambulance and several police vehicles attended on Sunday evening.

Mr McCartney added: "This was a brutal killing and I believe Kieran was shot a number of times at close range."

He said the community was shocked at what had happened in a residential area.

"Those involved in this murder selfishly gave no thought to the impact on frontline emergency services who are already working hard to keep people safe during this global pandemic with an already stretched resource.

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Police at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 17th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Police at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 17th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Police at the scene of a murder in the Lenadoon Avenue area of west Belfast on May 17th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

"They also showed a complete disregard for the community.

"Those involved in this appalling murder offer nothing to the local community and need to be brought to justice.

"Nothing justifies killing another person and the recovery of the gun that was used in last night's murder is a key line of inquiry for me."

Justice Minister Naomi Long condemned the "senseless and brutal" murder, offering her sympathies to the family.

"There is no place for the gun in our society and those responsible for this appalling crime have left a family grieving and a community in shock.

“Our first responders are dealing with an unprecedented health emergency and are trying to protect and save lives. It is beyond comprehension why anyone would divert them from those lifesaving duties at this or any other time.

“I would urge anyone with information to pass it to the police on the 101 number or to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey tweeted: "Local people are angry this attack has been carried out when the community & emergency services are facing the Covid-19 pandemic".

Mr Maskey added his "thoughts are with the man's family".

SDLP West Belfast Councillor Brian Heading described the murder as "senseless and brutal".

“Those responsible are thugs who need to get their foot off the neck of the community in west Belfast," said Mr Heading.

"They weren’t wanted in the past and they aren’t wanted now, particularly when our emergency services are working so hard to protect people from the impact of Covid-19.

“The local community is in shock this morning. Those responsible need to be caught a face justice for what they’ve done.

“I would encourage anyone with information to bring it to the PSNI.”

A Major Incident Public Portal will be made available which can be accessed at https://mipp.police.uk. It can be accessed from any device with internet access and videos and images can be uploaded onto it.

Police can be contacted on 101 quoting reference number 1589 of 17/05/20.”

Belfast Telegraph