Northern Ireland

Belfast shooting: Victim Dan Murray was 'well known to police'

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Media captionThe partner of a man shot dead in a car in west Belfast has described his killers as cowards

A man has been shot dead in a car in west Belfast.

Takeaway driver Dan Murray, 55 had been taking an order to Lady Street, near Grosvenor Road, when he was shot at about 22:15 BST on Monday.

He was well known to police and had a lengthy criminal record, the BBC understands.

His partner, Ciara Austin, the mother of his youngest child, has described his killers as cowards.

She said he was killed after being called to what turned out to be a bogus call for a Chinese takeaway delivery.

"I was working on the desk and took the phone call and he knew it wasn't an address that he usually goes to," she said.

"He says to me 'Ciara I don't usually do this one but I will take it anyway'.

"He was set-up, it is the only way they could have got him, they have tried time and time again.

"Cowards, cowards, they had to set him up, come up behind him and shoot him in the car."

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Image caption Mr Murray was shot in his car on Lady Street in west Belfast

Ms Austin said no-one was standing up to those responsible for the killing.

"Everybody knows who is doing it, the dogs in the street know who is behind it and nobody is standing up to them," she added.

"They are getting away with it.

"It is not fair, somebody has to do something, I never ever thought a year ago I would be sitting in this position."

She also denied any allegations that her partner had been dealing in drugs.

"He has never been convicted of drugs, doesn't have a drugs charge, there is nothing on his record," she said.

"This is the rumour mill trying to justify what they have done, trying to justify killing my partner and the father of my son."

Police said there was "absolutely no justification for incidents of this kind", but said it was too early to comment on a motivation for the murder.

The shooting was the third to take place in the city within 24 hours.

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Image caption Murder victim Dan Murray had survived a previous gun attack in May 2015

Supt John Roberts said the murder had been "horrific" but said the three shootings did not mean there is a "gang culture" in Belfast.

"It is not the case that criminals can run wild with guns in the city of Belfast," he added.

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Media captionPaul Maskey, MP, condemns West Belfast murder

Mr Murray had survived a previous gun attack last May, when he was shot in the face in his home.

The scene of Monday night's shooting remains cordoned off by police.

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Image caption The shooting was the third gun attack in Belfast in 24 hours

A teenager was shot in north Belfast about three hours before Mr Murray's killing and a man in his 20s was shot in an alleyway in north Belfast in the early hours of Monday.

In a joint statement, First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the shootings were "barbaric and wrong".

"We unreservedly condemn the actions of the perpetrators who care only for themselves," they said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families and in particular the family of Daniel Murray who was shot dead."

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Image caption Forensic officers are carrying out investigations in the aftermath of the murder
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Image caption The area remained cordoned off on Tuesday morning

Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey said: "I believe this to be criminal gangs who are carrying out armed actions on our streets.

"They need to be removed from our streets, and anybody who has information, I believe, has a duty to come forward with that and give it to the police."

SDLP MLA Alex Attwood said people in west Belfast were becoming anxious about shootings and violence in their area.

"There are people who are now trying to assert their violent and bad authority on the community," he said.

"People are beginning to use the gun and use it with regularity up to the point of murder."

People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll said: "I am deeply saddened by the news of another paramilitary attack in west Belfast, this time with tragic results.

"Nothing has been gained or achieved by this unnecessary loss of life, only more mourning and suffering."

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