Detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team have issued new CCTV footage and made a fresh appeal for information one week on from the brutal murder of 43 year old James Donegan, known as Jim, in front of schoolchildren and parents in West Belfast.
Police spoke to parents as they arrived to pick up their children this afternoon in an effort to obtain information about the lone gunman who shot Jim in broad daylight last Tuesday (December 4th), as he sat in his red Porsche Panamera, registration JDZ34, waiting to pick up his 13 year old son.
They also issued new CCTV footage showing the gunman casually activating the pedestrian crossing lights before crossing the road and walking along side school children seconds before firing his weapon eight times.
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery said: “We are now one week into the investigation of Jim’s murder and I am keen to hear from anyone who saw the man who callously murdered him just as the school bell rang for pupils to go home.
"Hundreds of children were pouring out of the three schools in the Glen Road area of West Belfast at the time – many of them witnessing the assassination of the father of two. Jim’s son was spared from this thankfully but only by a few seconds.
"Mums, dads, grandparents, young siblings and people in the community also saw the brutal slaying. The callous actions of the gunman will have catastrophic psychological effects on them all.
“The chilling CCTV footage shows him walking down the Glen Road before stopping outside Christian Brothers Secondary School . He then activates and waits at the pedestrian crossing for the ‘green man’ before walking casually across the road in front of school children. He then shoots Jim and while fleeing from the scene, walks out in front of cars holding his hand up to stop them before jogging back along the Glen Road and into Clonelly Avenue, where he disappears.
“Were you standing beside the gunman at the lights, were you driving one of the cars stopped at the pedestrian crossing as he walked across, were you the driver of one of the cars when he stepped out onto the road after he’d murdered Jim. If you were please get in touch with me or one of my detectives as you may have information which is vital for my investigation.
The gunman was wearing a high visibility, hip-length yellow jacket, with ‘Security’ written on the back, dark bottoms, with a grey coloured hat or hood and carrying a black or dark bag over his shoulder. Detective Chief Inspector Montgomery added: "I would like to hear from anyone who saw the gunman or was in the area during these times. Were you driving in the area and have dash-cam footage which could be of use to our investigation?
“I also want to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time, even if you did not witness the attack or see the gunman as I need to eliminate you from my enquiries.
“A dissident republican element is a main line of enquiry and I am appealing to the community to help identify who put the lives of countless children at risk andmurdered Jim. It was utter madness to fire a gun so close to the school as any one of these bullets could have ricocheted and hit the children standing nearby.
“I need to remove this dangerous man from our streets. A man who thought it was acceptable to traumatise young children.
Children who should be dreaming of presents and the magic of Christmas, who, are now, instead having nightmares.
“If you were in the area at the time Did you see him disappear into a house or car in the Clonelly Avenue area?
“His murderous actions have left Jim’s family devastated, which is even more poignant at this time of the year. Jim was a husband, a brother, a father to two sons and a stepfather.
“I would appeal to anyone with information to contact police on 101.”
A 47 year old man was arrested under the Terrorism Act today in the Turf Lodge area of West Belfast in connection with the murder of Jim Donegan. He has been taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite where he is currently being questioned by detectives.