Belfast Telegraph

Two gunmen involved in Ray Johnston shotgun murder - dissident republicans suspected

Police have said there were two gunmen involved in the murder of Ray Johnston in Belfast on Tuesday and dissident republican involvement is suspected.

Mr Johnston was shot in the chest in the living room of his home in Glenbawn Avenue, Poleglass at around 8pm in front of his partner and 11-year-old child.

Update from PSNI on Raymond Johnston murder investigation

Posted by Belfast Telegraph on Thursday, February 15, 2018

An appeal has been made for anyone with information on a male wearing a blue coat with fur around the hood made off from the scene and got into a black car with tinted windows which drove away from the scene.

Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce on Thursday appealed for anyone with information as to the last movements of Ray to contact his officers.

He said the investigation now understood there to be two gunmen involved who fled the scene in a dark-coloured car.

There was also extensive CCTV footage of the front of the house, which officers are examining.

"The manner in which Raymond was murdered was particularly brutal," he said, "the gunmen had been in the house for a very short time and did this in front of an 11-year-old child and his partner.

"We are particularly keen to prevent this from happening again and to catch those responsible and to get justice for the Johnston family."

The officer said they were investigating a number lines of enquiry including a link to dissident republicans..

He said it was too early to speculate if it was related to a feud in Crumlin or if it was linked to the murder in Poleglass of Joe Reilly in October 2016 Mr Reilly, 43, was shot twice in the chest in the living room of his home while two other people in the house were forced to lie on the kitchen floor.

Detective Chief Inspector Boyce would not be drawn on if Mr Johnston had been under threat or if police were aware of a threat made against him.

Gunned down: Joe O’Reilly

"I would ask any members of the public who have a dash cam fitted to their vehicle, and were travelling on Glenbawn Avenue, Glenbawn Square, Bryanswell Road, Bellsteel Road, Pantridge Road, Stewartstown Road or Colinwell Road between 7pm and 9pm on Tuesday, 13 February to contact detectives at Musgrave. You may have footage that could help us piece together what happened on Tuesday night and lead us to those behind this brutal act," he added.

Anyone with information should contact detectives on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1192 of 13/02/18 or ask to speak to Detectives at the incident room at Musgrave Street.

Information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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