Detectives investigating the murder of 43-year-old Jim Donegan in west Belfast yesterday have issued CCTV footage of the gunman in a new appeal for information.
Mr Donegan, a married father-of-two, was shot several times as he sat in his Porsche sports car waiting for his son outside St Mary’s Christian Brothers’ Grammar School on the Glen Road at around 3:15pm.
The CCTV footage shows the gunman, wearing a high-vis jacket and carrying a dark coloured bag, walking to the murder scene and then making off along the Glen Road after the shooting.
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery said: “Jim was a husband, a brother, a father to two sons and a stepfather. Yesterday, as the school bell was ringing, a lone gunman shot Jim, as he sat in his car waiting to pick up his 13-year-old son.
“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.
“Children who moments before were no doubt enjoying Christmas activities in class, maybe practising for their Christmas concert or school nativity, will no longer be dreaming about Santa or presents. Instead they will be having nightmares about a murder in broad daylight outside their school. A place which should be a safe haven to learn and grow.”
DCI Montgomery continued: “The gunman walked past these children and fired a weapon eight times. It is utter madness as any one of these bullets could have ricocheted and having been at the scene I cannot emphasise enough that it is sheer luck I am not investigating multiple fatalities.
“Today I am releasing CCTV footage of the gunman on his way to carry out the murder and as he flees the scene. He is captured 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.
“I believe the gun was in this bag. He emerged from a lane in Clonelly Avenue onto the Glen Road around 3.10pm, walked past countless parents and children, before firing eight bullets at Jim while he sat outside the school in his red Porsche Panamera, registration JDZ34.
“Around two minutes later, after the murder, he ran back up Glen Road and along the lane into Clonelly Avenue.
“I would like to hear from anyone who saw the gunman during these times. I am appealing to the community’s to help identify who murdered Jim and put the lives of countless children at risk.
“I would also like to thank the local people of West Belfast for their help in the last 24 hours and ask anyone who has information or dashcam footage to contact detectives in Musgrave Street on 101.”
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