Police say dissident republicans may be behind Longlands murder

Murder victim Danny McKay from Newtownabbey
Murder victim Danny McKay from Newtownabbey

DISSIDENT republicans may have been behind the “brutal and ruthless” shooting of a father-of-one in the Longlands area last week.

Danny McKay was gunned down after two masked men walked into his home around 8.30pm on Thursday, October 25.

The 36 year old is believed to have been shot several times before the gunmen fled the home he shared with his fiancee and her children.

Three men, aged 28, 41 and 50 were arrested and questioned by police over the weekend. Late on Monday night they were later realeased by police unconditionally.

On Tuesday a 23 year old was arrested and again released by police unconditionally.

Police have appealed for information surrounding the incident.

A Silver Volkswagen Bora with license plate KLZ 9787, which was hijacked from the New Lodge area by five masked men earlier in the evening and later found burnt out in west Belfast, is believed to be connected to the shooting.

Detectives investigating the incident have said Mr McKay was “known” to police and are considering a drugs connection to the murder.

Detective Chief Inspector John McVea who is leading the investigation said: “What happened on Longlands Road was a brutal and ruthless attack which has no place in society.

“Daniel McKay was known to police and was known by the community in Longlands. But whatever Daniel did in his life, nothing justifies this action against him.”

He went on: “This investigation will look at Daniel’s activities but today Daniel is a victim. He was the son of a mother and father who are now grieving for his loss. He had a partner and a young child and those people are grieving his loss.

“Police are working on a number of lines of enquiry. Some of these involve links to drugs and individuals or groups who would associate themselves with dissident groupings.

“I am appealing for information and police are grateful to those elected and community representatives who have already urged people to come forward to police.

“Those responsible for this ruthless murder will only be brought before the courts and put behind bars if people with information work with police.”

Alliance councillor for the area, Billy Webb said: “I am shocked at this tragic loss of life and extend my sympathy to the family and I totally condemn those who killed this young man.

“The people of Longlands have suffered many times in the past years with similar incidents both within the area and outside.

“They are shocked and saddened that once again there has been a loss of life because of someone else’s actions.

“The circumstances behind this killing aren’t yet known but, whatever they might be, nothing can excuse the taking of life.

“I call on anyone who has information which might lead to finding those responsible to contact the PSNI.”

Police can be contacted on 0845 600 8000, alternatively information can be passed to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.