Man dead after ‘shotgun shooting’ in west Belfast

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    Media captionResidents near the scene of the attack heard two shots, says Sinn Féin’s Stephen Magennis

    A man, in his late 20s, has died after he was shot in west Belfast.

    Raymond Johnston was shot in the chest with a shotgun shortly before 20:00 GMT on Tuesday at Glenbawn Avenue in Poleglass.

    Image copyright PACEMAKER
    Image caption Mr Johnston had been watching television with his partner on the sofa when a man came into the room

    Sinn Féin councillor Stephen Magennis told BBC Good Morning Ulster people in the area were “stunned and outraged” by the “brutal killing”.

    Mr Magennis said the family “had no idea as to why anyone would want to shoot” Mr Johnston.

    “I have spoken to some of the victim’s family and friends and they are obviously devastated and in a state of shock,” he added.

    “There can be absolutely no justification for this murder which was carried out in the most brutal fashion.”


    Mr Johnston had been watching television with his partner on the sofa when a man came into the room and carried out the attack.

    An 11-year-old girl was sitting on another chair in the room.

    “As far as I know, the girl was in a bit of a state,” said Mr Magennis.

    Image copyright Pacemaker

    “It was traumatic, and no doubt will be with them for a long time to come.”

    Mr Magennis said it was the second time a man had been shot dead in Poleglass in over a year, and those carrying out the attacks were bringing “nothing but death and destruction” to the area.

    ‘Heart wrenching’

    Michael George, a community worker in the area, said Mr Johnston was “a bubbly and friendly individual” who had had “his life snuffed out”.

    “It really was heart wrenching for the family and the community.

    “I would say to the people who did this, take your boot off our backs and let us move on.

    “We don’t want to be dragged back into the past.”

    Tim Attwood, a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) councillor, said the family and residents had been left “paralysed with fear”.

    “Those who think they can take the lives of others into their own hands are wrong,” he added.

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