Published Sunday, 31 March 2013
Police are continuing to investigate the shooting at Kennedy Way (© Pacemaker)
Kieran McManus was working for Domino's Pizza on Kennedy Way, where he was murdered on Saturday.
He was standing outside the premises with three friends shortly before 11.20pm when he was approached by a masked gunman.
It is thought the father-of-one, who lived in the Belfast area and was known to police, was shot a number of times by the lone attacker as he was placing a pizza delivery into the rear of his car.
He was pronounced dead in hospital a short time later.
PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Karen Baxter, who is leading the murder hunt, said: "Kieran worked for Domino's as a delivery person but last night whilst he was working he was also accompanied by three young friends.
"He was with those three young friends when the attack occurred. He was standing, we believe, outside of the vehicle and shot at short range."
What happened in Kennedy Way last night was a brutal and ruthless attack which has no place in society.
DCI Karen Baxter
A dark coloured car was seen speeding from the scene. A dark red Astra believed to be linked to the murder was later found burnt out a short distance away in Denewood Park.
A motive for the shooting has yet to be established; however the killing is not thought to be sectarian.
"We are keeping an open mind to the motive at this time and we are working on a number of lines of enquiry," DCI Baxter said.
She added: "We are specifically appealing for anyone who may have been in the area around this time last night and who may have witnessed any specific activity or vehicles in the area.
"We are particularly appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the dark coloured Vauxhall Astra car seen leaving the area around the time of the murder or who may have seen it in the Denewood Park area."
Those responsible for this ruthless murder will only be brought before the courts and put behind bars if people with information work with police.
DCI Karen Baxter
The senior officer said the victim's friends were not physically hurt, but were left "desperately shocked" by the attack.
"This is a tragic, tragic situation," she added.
Justice Minister David Ford said his thoughts were with the victim's family.
"I condemn in the strongest possible terms this callous murder. There can be no cause that can justify the taking of a precious human life and no excuse can explain the suffering that results.
He added: "I offer my deepest sympathies to the family of this young man and also my prayers on this Easter Sunday."
Local Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey said those responsible "should be ashamed" and said people in the community have been shocked by the killing.
"A young man was going about his work and somebody has decided that they will take his life from him.
"We are now left with a family without a son, without a brother, and I think it's totally unacceptable and totally shocking."
Alex Attwood, SDLP MLA for the area, said: "I condemn the terrible death of a young man on Kennedy Way late last night.
"At a time of hope in the Christian calendar, this murder is all the more appalling. The sympathy of all will go to a deeply grieving family."
© UTV News