07/10/2002

Shotgun murder victim is buried

The funeral of Jeffery 'Greyhound' Thomas Gray has taken place at a private service in Lurgan today.

Mr Gray was shot dead on Friday night by a lone gunman as he walked along the Ravenhill Road in east Belfast. The 41-year-old is thought to have been drinking in the area shortly before the gunman struck.

Mr Gray was shot once in the stomach with a shotgun and died at the scene.

Police believe that the paramilitary-style murder of the father-if-three is part of the ongoing feud between rival loyalist factions of the UDA and LVF.

Mr Gray, who is originally from Portadown, Co Armagh, is said to have moved to the city when tensions between LVF and UVF supporters further descended into violence.

It is reported that Mr Gray was formerly the LVF's 'welfare officer' in Portadown.

In another shooting incident, also believed to be as a result of friction between loyalist factions, a man was shot and wounded on Saturday evening.

Thomas Ewing was shot as he sat in his car with his four-year-old child in the back seat.

Ulster Unionist Jim Rodgers condemned the shooting. He said people were "running about like it's the 'wild west'", and appealed for the rival factions to refrain from violence.

The first and deputy first ministers have condemned the latest killing.

Tensions have been high with several shooting incidents since the murder of LVF member Stephen Warnock and the wounding of senior UDA leader Jim Gray last month.

(SP)

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