20/02/2019

Police Release Further Details Of 'Vicious' Antrim Murder

Police have released further details about the brutal murder of a man in the rural community of Glenwherry, County Antrim.

52-year-old David Murphy's body was found yesterday, Tuesday 19 February, at his home on Church Road.

A friend discovered the victim, who had been shot twice with a shotgun.

The post-mortem investigation is not yet complete.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said: "Our investigation is at an early stage, just 24 hours in, but enquiries are already gathering considerable pace and I am appealing to the public for their help.

"At this point in time I do not know how many people were involved in David's murder, nor do I have clear definition around the motive for this brutal attack. These questions form the main focus of my appeal to the public for help. I am very keen to hear from anyone with information about David's life and his associations. I am particularly keen to understand David's movements between last Saturday (16th February) and 1pm on Tuesday when his body was discovered. I want to know who he was with and what he was doing. I need this information to assess if his movements over the weekend are of relevance to my investigation. 
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"I would also appeal to anyone who was near 55 Church Road between Saturday and yesterday. Did you see anything at all? Even if you didn't think it was something important, please contact us and let us examine the information to decide if it's of relevance. Do you have dash-cam footage which could be of use? I want to speak to delivery drivers who might have been in the area.

"I am keeping an open mind about the motive for David's murder but there is absolutely no justification for what happened. David should have been safe in his home but someone callously shot him in cold blood at some point over the past few days. This was not just an attack on David – it was an attack on his parents and siblings who will have to come to terms with their loss."

The local community in Glenwherry are understood to be deeply distressed by the incident, which occurred in an otherwise quiet, rural area.

"I want to reassure the wider public that there is no evidence that they are at an increased level of risk and we are fully committed to catching David's killer and recovering the firearm used," DS Murphy added.

Meanwhile, SDLP Councillor Declan O'Loan has spoken out to condemn Mr Murphy's murder in the strongest possible terms, and also hinted at connections to loyalist violence.

He commented: "This murder is to be deeply deplored. The victim had a history of involvement in loyalist violence, and it seems likely that the motive for the murder lies in that arena. 

"The lesson is that these shadowy forces who wreak such havoc need to be rooted out of our society."

The SDLP representative encouraged anyone who knows anything to contact police.

Those who believe they have information which could assist the investigation are urged to contact officers on the non-emergency line 101, quoting reference 544 of 19/02/19.

Information can also be passed on anonymously via Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.



(JG/MH)

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