Detectives from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch are appealing for information on the first anniversary of the murder of 43 year old West Belfast man Joe Reilly.
The father of one died on Thursday, 20 October 2016 after being shot at his home in the Glenwood Court area of Poleglass, Belfast.
The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery, said: “We are continuing to carry out a thorough investigation into all of the circumstances surrounding Joe’s cold-blooded murder. It was a particularly brutal and callous attack during which Joe was shot twice in the chest in the living room of his own home while two other people in the house were forced to lie on the kitchen floor and listen. Despite the best efforts of paramedics, he died at the scene.
“One year on, and Joe’s family are still trying to come to terms with their grief, pain and loss. They deserve to see his killers brought to justice and pay for their heinous actions.
“There is nothing that can justify or explain the senselessness of this attack. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home and yet his killers violated this. We believe Joe’s two killers fled ran out the front door of his home in Glenwood Court around 8pm and along Glenwood Drive into Laurelbank heading towards the Bell Steel Road.
“We need to know what happened next: did they get into a car or did they continue on foot along to the Bell Steel Road or cross the Pantridge Road into Colin Mill?
“We are also interested in establishing how they arrived at Joe’s house: did they walk there or were they dropped off from a vehicle nearby?
“Information from the community has enabled us to identify the type of clothing the killers were wearing - half-zip hooded sports tops and skin tight jogging bottoms. Both had their faces covered and at least one had a Celtic scarf up over his face and was wearing dark rimmed glasses.
“We need to know where these men were before the shooting, where they went afterwards and we also want to speak to anyone who recognises the clothing.”
Police are following a number of definite lines of enquiry as part of the investigation, however information from the community is vital to progress it further.
DCI Montgomery added: “We believe the murder may be linked to illegal drugs and that the shooting may have been carried out by paramilitaries. They took the law into their own hands to deliver what amounts to a summary execution but they need to be put behind bars so that our community is a safer place.
“I would appeal to people not to be judgmental but instead remember that Joe was a son, a brother and was also a father. I would remind the community that there is still a handgun out there which may be used to kill or inflict harm on someone else if it is not taken off the streets.
“We are grateful for the support and information we have already received from the community, but there are people living locally who know exactly who was involved and we need to hear from them.
“Please phone detectives on 101, quoting reference 1172 20/10/16 with any information, no matter how insignificant you may think it is. Alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”