Belfast Telegraph

Lyra McKee murder: PSNI releases new footage of suspected gunman and asks public to identify him

Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

The detective leading the hunt for the killer of Lyra McKee has called on the public to help identify the suspected gunman.

The plea came as new footage was released yesterday showing the man believed to be responsible moments before the shooting last Thursday night.

He is believed to be in his late teens and has a short, stocky build.

Another image from the police is believed to show him shortly after the attack.

So far 140 individuals have contacted the PSNI with information.

Yesterday Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said he now needs help to identify the gunman and turn the community intelligence into evidence.

He added that he believed the gun used was of a similar calibre to others used in paramilitary-style shootings in Creggan and elsewhere.

Mr Murphy said: "I want to find the people who murdered Lyra and I believe the information that can help us bring those responsible to justice lies within the local community.

"Approximately 100 people were on the ground on the night Lyra was murdered - people saw the gunman and his associates. I think people within the community know who they are. I'm asking them to come forward and help us.

"I'm releasing footage today from the night of Lyra's murder and I want to appeal to anyone who recognises or knows these people to talk to us."

The footage shows three men with their faces covered walking across Central Drive in Creggan from the direction of the shops last Thursday night, April 18.

At the front is the tallest man carrying a crate of petrol bombs towards the crowd, which included children.

Two other men walk behind him. The taller of the two is wearing a camouflage mask, dark skinny jeans, blue Nike trainers with a white tick and white soles. A later image showed him holding a petrol bomb.

CCTV of individuals police are seeking as part of their enquiry into the murder of Lyra
CCTV of individuals police are seeking as part of their enquiry into the murder of Lyra
CCTV of individuals police are seeking as part of their enquiry into the murder of Lyra
Lyra McKee

The suspected gunman is the third individual in the footage, who is shorter than the other two and of stocky build.

Mr Murphy added: "It's my belief he is the gunman that fired indiscriminately into the crowd, placed the community and police officers at risk and took the life of Lyra.

"You can see he is wearing dark clothing and in other footage you can see this clothing in a different light. People know who he is."

Appealing directly to those in Creggan who are scared to speak out, Mr Murphy gave a personal assurance that they would be dealt with sensitively.

He said: "At Lyra's funeral on Wednesday we heard many messages about the potential for a better future but, as I have said previously, such sentiment will all be in vain if collectively we cannot tackle the malign influence that some individuals continue to exert over our communities."

He also thanked the Crimestoppers charity after it offered a £10,000 reward for information.

Addressing the killer directly, Mr Murphy said: "I believe the gunman will carry a very heavy conscience as a result of Lyra McKee's murder, particularly when you see the very public outpouring of support there has been and the very public condemnation of his actions.

"I want him to come forward and tell us what he did. I want him to provide an explanation for why he fired the shots on that night.

"I said last week that the gunman and those who surround him have still provided no direct explanation to Lyra McKee's family as to why she died, why she was killed and why that gun was on the streets."

Anyone with information can contact detectives on 101.

Information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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