Two 'cold blooded killers' burst into home of Wayne Boylan and shot him in the head, says senior officer
Police described the murder as "senseless and callous".
Two "cold blooded killers" burst into the Warrenpoint home of Wayne Boylan and shot him in the head with a shotgun, police have said.
Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce said Mr Boylan (37) was enjoying an evening with friends at his home in Lower Dromore Road when the incident happened at around 7.30pm. He had just come back from a local off-licence 15 minutes before the shooting.
The pair, who were both masked, fired at Mr Boylan with what police believe to be a shotgun, striking him in the head and fatally injuring him.
He died at the scene.
Pellets from the weapon also struck his friend, a 21-year-old woman, in the face and neck. She has undergone emergency surgery and remains critically ill in intensive care at Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
The PSNI has said they have not ruled out paramilitary involvement in the murder.
DCI Boyce said: "This was a senseless and callous murder perpetrated on a completely unsuspecting man.
"Wayne was a father and his two young children have been left without their father.
"He was a son, a brother and a friend. His murder has caused his family and friends immeasurable pain and their lives will be forever changed by his loss.
"At this time no clear motive for the attack on Wayne has been identified, and today I am appealing directly to those who may have information about his murder. Do you know the people involved? Please tell us what you know.
"Were you in the Lower Dromore Road area last night between 6pm and 8pm ?
"Did you see the gunmen or any unusual vehicles in the area? Did you see any vehicles being driven erratically in the area of Lower Dromore Road or the dual carriageway between Newry and Warrenpoint yesterday evening around 7:30pm? Please tell us what you saw.
"We want to be able to give answers to a grieving family. To give them justice by putting his murderers behind bars."
The Major Investigation Team can be contacted by calling 02844 611001
Community representatives last night told of their shock.
SDLP MLA Sinead Bradley (below) said: "It's awful. It's genuinely shocking.
"I just join with the community in telling of my absolute shock that this has happened.
"I dread the news that is going to someone's home this evening - for someone to find that somebody belonging to them has lost their life.
"Whatever the circumstances, it's the end of somebody's life, and it's extremely devastating news for anybody to hear."
Local councillor SDLP councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said: "My thoughts are with those who are involved. It's absolutely shocking news. More details will come out as to what has happened but it is absolutely dreadful that this has happened in such a quiet community."
Sinn Fein MLA Sinead Ennis said the community had been left shaken.
"The community of Warrenpoint are shocked and stunned by this news," she said.
"Our first thoughts are with the family of the victim. The PSNI have the area sealed off and I would appeal to anyone with information to bring it forward to assist the investigation."
Local Independent councillor Jarlath Tinnelly also expressed shock at the murder.
"Warrenpoint generally would be a very quiet town and has seen nothing like this certainly since the end of the Troubles."