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Single gunman responsible for murder of Dublin man in Belfast

Robbie Lawlor was shot dead at a house in north Belfast on Saturday.

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The scene at Etna Drive in the Ardoyne area of Belfast, where a man has died following a shooting (David Young/PA)

The scene at Etna Drive in the Ardoyne area of Belfast, where a man has died following a shooting (David Young/PA)

The scene at Etna Drive in the Ardoyne area of Belfast, where a man has died following a shooting (David Young/PA)

A single gunman was responsible for the fatal shooting of a Dublin man in Belfast, a senior police officer has said.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland believes the victim, who was shot dead at a house in Ardoyne on Saturday, is Robbie Lawlor, 36, from Coolock, Co Dublin.

Reports have linked Mr Lawlor with the killing of Keane Mulready Woods in Co Louth earlier this year.

A 17-year-old, a 22-year-old, a 30-year-old and a 33-year-old have been arrested on suspicion of murder, and are being questioned in the Serious Crime Suite in Musgrave police station.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said: “Whilst formal identification has not yet taken place, sufficient information exists for us to believe that the deceased male may be Robbie Lawlor.”

He added: “At this stage I believe that a single gunman was involved in the killing, firing multiple shots at the victim and striking him a number of times.

“The murder weapon has not yet been recovered.”

Two properties, one in west Belfast and one in Crumlin, have also searched by police investigating the murder.

Detective Superintendent Murphy has made a renewed appeal for information.

“I do not believe that Robbie was in the Ardoyne yesterday by accident. I believe he had some reason to be there and key lines of enquiry for me at this stage are to establish why he was there and what his connection to the address is,” he said.

“This was a brutal killing and I am appealing for the public’s help to bring the gunman to justice. I would like to hear from anyone who was in Etna Drive yesterday, between 11am and 12.30pm, and who may have witnessed the shooting or the gunman making his escape.

“I’m also keen to speak to anyone who can help us trace the movements of a VW Scirocco car, registration YLZ 7052. I believe it was in Estoril Park on Friday and was burnt out in Kingston Court immediately after the murder yesterday.

“Anyone who has CCTV, dashcam or mobile phone footage recorded in the area of Etna Drive and Kingston Court is also asked to make it available to my investigation team. You can do that by uploading it to Major Incident Public Portal, which can be accessed from any device with internet access. Go to www.MIPP.police.uk.”

The killing was condemned by politicians.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the killing was “an abhorrent and brutal crime, for which there is no excuse” while Stormont justice minister Naomi Long condemned the “senseless murder”, and offered her sympathies to the man’s family.

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly appealed for calm in the area, and urged anyone with information to speak to police.

PA