Netizen 24 IRL: 'Big Ray' Johnston shot dead at home in Belfast 'was killed as family looked on'

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'Big Ray' Johnston shot dead at home in Belfast 'was killed as family looked on'

A man shot dead last night is said to have been killed as his family looked on.

Ray Johnston, who was in his late 20s, died on the floor of the living room in his home in Glenbawn Avenue, West Belfast, shortly after 7pm on Tuesday, February 13.

His pal said “Big Ray” was hit twice in the chest after two masked men walked in through the front door. He was on the scene within minutes but was unable to save the painter and decorator.

The local man told Belfast Live : “I worked on him. He had two gunshot wounds to the chest and he was dead where he was lying on the living room floor.

“It’s desperate it actually happened to him and his family, especially with the kids being in. One girl is 15 and the other one’s nine. It’s really hard to take in. This place is very quiet and there’s plenty of kids going about at that time.”

Th e Poleglass man said Ray was “a decent enough fella” who had lived in Glenbawn “for a couple of years”.

Asked if he knew of any motive for the attack, he added: “There has been something festering but I don’t really want to say what it was.”

A police cordon was erected around the man’s home as neighbours looked on.

Emergency services at the scene on Glenbawn Avenue

Detectives from PSNI Serious Crime Branch have launched a murder enquiry following the shooting.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery said: "The male victim who was in his late 20s died after being shot just before 8pm.

"At this time we are working to establish a motive for the attack and are appealing for anyone with information that may assist us with our enquires to contact us.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives on 101 quoting reference 1192 of 13/2/18 alternatively informa tion can also be provided via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Community worker Michael George said: “His family are in absolute shock, especially his partner. My condolences to them.

“There’s a lot of fear about at the minute and people speculating as to why this happened. It’s the last thing our community wants.

“Joe Riley was shot not a couple of hundred yards from here in similar circumstances a year ago.”

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey also expressed his condolences.

He said: “This was a brutal attack. My sympathies are with the family.”

Emergency services at the scene on Glenbawn Avenue

One source said last night: “This was not a punishment shooting gone wrong, they went with intent. There was one gunman who made off in a getaway car.”

A motive for the killing is not known at this stage.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Stephen Magennis said: “Residents said they heard two bangs. The next thing was police arrived and the ambulance and they knew something was up. A lot of people tried to help him but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“They want these people to go back to the shadows. There’s a lot of anger.

“No one supports this kind of action. The people carrying out these attacks are bringing nothing but death and destruction.

“I would appeal to anyone who has any information about this attack to bring it to the PSNI.”

SDLP councillor Tim Attwood added: “Those who think they can take the lives of others into their own hands are wrong.

“Leaving a family and a community paralysed with fear is wrong.”

Ulster Unionist Party’s Doug Beattie MC MLA said: “I unreservedly condemn tonight’s gun attack in which a man was murdered in the Glenbawn Avenue area of West Belfast.

“Nothing can justify such a barbaric act and it is a sad reality that too many of our communities are still being threatened by criminal gangs who seek to impose their will by the threat or use of violence.

“The rule of law must prevail and the Police must be given the full support of every one in order to rid society of anyone who seeks to bring guns onto the streets for any reason whatsoever. The people responsible for tonight’s murder must be caught and put behind bars for a very long time.”

Source: Google News

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