Superintendent Norman Haslett, local commander for Newry, Mourne & Down Policing District, described the attack as ‘beyond reckless’.
He said: “We believe those responsible went to great lengths to plan their attack and lie in wait for their victim to essentially ambush and execute him.
“The victim, who was a husband, a father and a son, was shot multiple times at close range and the level of violence used was reprehensible. This murder took place in a built-up residential area of Newry at teatime, when people would have been coming home from work and when families and children would have been out and about in the run up to Christmas.
“This was beyond reckless. Anyone – any child, any neighbour – could all too easily have been seriously injured or worse. Indeed, after the attack, the victim’s car ended up crashing into a neighbouring property. Those responsible had no thought whatsoever for the victim, for his family or for the local community. They have no moral compass and I would condemn their actions in the strongest possible terms.”
Superintendent Haslett has appealed to anyone with information to come forward. Anyone who was in the area and witnessed the attack, or who may have captured dash cam footage, is asked to contact detectives on 101 quoting reference number 1600 of 01/12/22.
You can also make a report to police online via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
He also made an appeal for calm, saying: “Local residents will see an increase in the visible police presence in the area in the coming days and weeks. I would like to appeal for calm and the last thing anyone wants to see is any form of retribution.”