North Belfast: Murdered man was 'suspect in teen's killing'

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image captionForensic teams at the scene of the killing on Etna Drive on Saturday

A man shot dead in Belfast was a suspect in the murder of a 17-year-old in the Republic of Ireland earlier this year, the BBC understands.

The man was fatally shot outside a house on Etna Drive in Ardoyne at about 11:50 BST on Saturday.

Four men have been arrested in connection with the killing, which police described as "brutal".

image copyrightAn Garda Siochána
image captionKeane Mulready-Woods, from Drogheda, was murdered in January and his body dismembered

It is understood the dead man was a senior figure in a feuding criminal gang.

Earlier on Saturday, Det Supt Jason Murphy condemned the Belfast killing and said the man had been shot a number of times at close range.

"Those involved in this murder selfishly gave no thought to the impact on frontline emergency services who are already working hard to keep people safe with an already stretched resource," he added.

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image captionThe police are trying to establish if a burnt-out car found nearby was used in the attack

"Not only did they carry out this callous murder leaving a family experiencing their worst nightmare, but they did not care that children and other members of this north Belfast community were placed at risk."

Mr Murphy said that a light coloured car, registration YLZ 7052, was found burned out in nearby Kingston Court, and he was trying to establish if this is relevant to the murder.

He also appealed for information about a dark-coloured car which was seen in Ardoyne Avenue minutes after the other car was set on fire.

image captionDet Supt Jason Murphy said the killing was "brutal"

Neighbours described how they tried to save the man.

One man said he "heard four big bangs and ran outside to see what was happening".

He said he saw a man "stumbling out of the garden" and that he ran over to help but the man collapsed.

"I tried doing CPR but I couldn't save him," he said.

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image captionThe shooting has been condemned by local politicians

Another witness said she ran to help but that the man was already dead so she put a sheet over him to "give him some dignity".

The killing was condemned by Justice Minister Naomi Long, SDLP councillor Paul McCusker and Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly.

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