Former CIRA leader Tommy Crossan murdered through window of office

The former Continuity IRA leader murdered in broad daylight on Friday was shot while sitting in the office of a family friend’s business, police said during an appeal for information a day after the killing.

Tommy Crossan, 43, was a married father-of-six and had five grandchildren.

The scene on the Springfield Road in west Belfast after Tommy Corssan was murdered.

The scene on the Springfield Road in west Belfast after Tommy Corssan was murdered.

One man, aged 26, was arrested and questioned by police on Saturday.

Despite being known as a dissident police said the victim’s “lifestyle” is no justification for what they termed a “barbaric action against him”.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Jonathan Roberts appealed for members of the public to come forward and help them with any information they may have on the murder at the Peter Pan complex on the Springfield Road shortly before 5pm.

Condemning the murder as a “brutal and ruthless attack”, DI Roberts also confirmed a link to dissident groupings as one line of enquiry for police investigating who was behind the shooting.

“At around 4.45pm Mr Crossan was shot a number of times at close range in his upper body area as he sat in the office of the business of a family friend within the Peter Pan complex. A red coloured BMW, believed to be linked to the murder, was found burned out a short time later in the Beechmount Grove area of the city,” he said.

“It has not been reported as stolen to the police, however there have been a number of sightings of the vehicle in the area over recent weeks.

“We are appealing for anyone who may have been in the area around this time yesterday afternoon and who may have witnessed any unusual or specific activity or vehicles in the area. We are particularly appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the red coloured BMW car, registration number OEZ 9177, which was seen leaving the area around the time of the murder or anyone who may have seen it in the Beechmount Grove area later on.

“The murder of Mr Crossan on the Springfield Road yesterday was a brutal and ruthless attack which has no place in society. Mr Crossan was known to police but no matter what his lifestyle was, absolutely nothing justifies this barbaric action against him.

“Police are working on a number of lines of enquiry. One line of enquiry centres on individuals or groups who would associate themselves with dissident groupings, however we are keeping an open mind.”

A murder incident room has been set up and police said they are keen to hear from anyone with information.

“I am appealing for further information and police are grateful to those elected and community representatives who have already urged people to come forward to police. Those responsible for this ruthless murder will only be brought before the courts and put behind bars if people with information work with police,” added DI Roberts.

The special incident room number is 02890 259542 or alternatively anyone wishing to pass information anonymously can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 1111.