Published Friday, 18 April 2014
The scene of the shooting at the Peter Pan complex, on lower Springfield Road. (© Presseye)
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.
Earlier 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.
© UTV News