29/04/2009

Takeaway Delivery Guise Used By Antrim Gunmen

Gunmen posed as takeaway delivery men before overpowering the wife of slain Templepatrick man Geoffrey Kerr, the police have said.

More details have now emerged about the fatal Antrim shooting, which took place on Monday night.

Describing the murder as "cold and calculated", the detective leading the investigation said a motive is still being established, but officers are keeping an "open mind".

However, Detective Chief Inspector Jonathan Roberts said any links to dissident republicans have been ruled out at this time.

He said two men forced their way into the family home under the guise of Chinese takeaway delivery men.

Mr Kerr was then shot and sustained fatal injuries. The man's wife, Sally, and one of his four sons were in the home at the time.

It is believed Mrs Kerr answered the door to the gunmen, who overpowered her, forcing their way into the property shortly before 10pm.

Police are currently investigating a burnt-out car, found 10 miles from the scene in Glenavy, which is thought to be the getaway vehicle.

DCI Roberts appealed to anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area on the night of the murder to come forward.
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"I am appealing for information from anybody in the community who has any suspicions as to who may have been involved or indeed knows who was involved.

"And we are appealing for information about a silver or dark coloured BMW, WIB 6610, which may have been involved in this incident.

"This vehicle was found burnt out at Ballyminymore Road outside Glenavy and we are appealing for information from anybody who may have seen this car."

The detective described the public response so far as "excellent".

Mr Kerr was a local business man and member of the Ulster Unionist Party.

UUP Leader, Sir Reg Empey last night paid tribute to the "family man".

"Although I did not know Geoff personally I understand he only joined the party last year and on Saturday attended our AGM.

"I have spoken to party colleagues and Geoff has been described as a gentleman, a family man and as a man with boundless energy."

Sir Reg said those responsible for the killing must be brought to justice.

Forensic experts are still at the scene of the murder, carrying out an inch by inch detail search, which could last up to several days.

Mr Kerr's body is expected to undergo a post mortem examination soon.

(PR/BMcc)

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