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Raymond Johnston murder probe officers renew appeal about Belfast gun attack


Shot: Belfast man Raymond Johnston

Shot: Belfast man Raymond Johnston

Shot: Belfast man Raymond Johnston

Police have renewed their appeal for information into the murder of Raymond Johnston, who was shot in front of his partner and her young daughter, two years after his death.

Mr Johnston (28) died after being shot at his home in Glenbawn Avenue in west Belfast just before 8pm on Tuesday, February 13, 2018.

Detective Chief Inspector Darren McCartney said Mr Johnston was shot in the chest after two hooded men - one "clearly armed with a weapon" - were captured on CCTV entering the house around 7.45pm that evening.

The police previously said he was shot by dissident republican group Arm na Poblachta. DCI McCartney said that Mr Johnston's partner's child was just 11-years-old when she witnessed the murder and said that the pain of losing him has not "lessened for those who love him".

"[The two hooded men] emerge from the house less than 10 seconds later, having shot Raymond in the chest, killing him," continued the officer.

"Ten seconds was all it took to take Raymond's life and ruin the lives of all those who loved him.

"Someone must have seen these two men. I would ask you to cast your mind back to the evening of Tuesday, February 13, 2018.

"Did you see these two men, one of whom was wearing what is believed to have been a blue coat with fur around the hood and possibly a balaclava, enter Raymond's home in Glenbawn Avenue? Did you see them get into a dark coloured car and leave the Poleglass area at speed at around 8pm, after they shot Raymond?

"Were you travelling in your car on the Glenbawn Avenue/Glenbawn Square/Bryanswell Road/Bellsteel Road/Partridge Road/Stewartstown Road or Colinwell Road between 7pm and 9pm?

"If you were - did you see anything unusual or out of the ordinary?"

The PSNI have also appealed to anyone who met with or spoke with Mr Johnston at any time on the day of his death to contact them.

"Do you remember where and when you saw him?" asked DCI McCartney. "Was he with anyone? What was he doing?

"Someone out there knows who carried out this cold blooded murder. I would ask you to examine your conscience and come forward with whatever information you have, make contact with us on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1192 13/02/18.

"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime."

A 41-year-old man was arrested under the Terrorism Act in the Poleglass area by detectives investigating Mr Johnston's murder but was released unconditionally in the summer of 2018.

A number of other men were arrested by police in the weeks after his death but were also released unconditionally.

Belfast Telegraph