Man shot dead in west Belfast

Man shot dead in west Belfast

There has been widespread condemnation after a former senior dissident republican was shot dead in broad daylight in the grounds of an industrial complex in a west Belfast on Good Friday.

Police have launched a murder investigation after the fatal shooting took place on the lower Springfield Road in the vicinity of the Peter Pan complex at around 5pm.UTV Reporter Vicki Hawthorne said that a local priest arrived at the scene where the 43-year-old victim, who has been named locally as former Continuity IRA figure Tommy Crossan, died after being gunned down.On Friday night a heavy police presence remained in the area where relatives and a large crowd of onlookers gathered after the murder.The scene has been cordoned off and a section of the Springfield Road is closed.Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said nothing could justify the murder.The senior Sinn Féin figure posted his reaction on Twitter.My sympathy is with the family of the man killed in Belfast today, nothing that is claimed by the criminals responsible can justify it.— Martin McGuinness (@M_McGuinness_SF) April 18, 2014Earlier Justice Minister David Ford said the brutal murder should be condemned by all."I condemn this appalling crime and offer my sympathies to the family."The Alliance Party leader added: "Those responsible for this cowardly act will be pursued by the authorities and I would urge anyone with information to pass it to the police or the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111."Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers also condemned "this brutal murder which has left a family bereaved".Jennifer McCann, Sinn Féin MLA for West Belfast, said that killing took place in a very busy part of the Springfield Road."Those behind it had no consideration for anyone in this community except themselves and their own criminal agenda."They have shot a man dead and endangered anyone in the immediate vicinity."There is now a family in mourning and a community traumatised by this shooting," she continued.Alliance Policing Board member Chris Lyttle said the murder was "a reminder of the dark days of the troubles".He said: "We had all hoped we had left this type of violent behaviour firmly in the past and my thoughts are with the victim's family and friends and the wider community as they come to terms with this shocking incident."Violence is never acceptable and those behind this devastating attack must be caught and dealt with by the courts."Meanwhile, a red BMW car has been set on fire at nearby Beechmount Grove.Police have said it is too early to establish whether or not the incident is linked to the fatal shooting.Detectives are asking anyone who witnessed the incident or who may have information to contact them.Republican sources say man shot dead in west Belfast one-time leader of dissident faction Continuity IRA in city.— Brian Rowan (@BrianPJRowan) April 18, 2014


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