£20,000 reward offered after 'senseless' murder of father-of-four in Co. Armagh

£20,000 reward offered after 'senseless' murder of father-of-four in Co. Armagh

CRIMESTOPPERS has offered a reward of up to £20,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder of a father-of-four in Co. Armagh.

Shane Whitla, 39, was found unresponsive in a park in Lurgan at around 8.15pm on Thursday, January 12.

A post-mortem revealed that he had died from several gunshot wounds, including one to the back.

A 29-year-old man arrested on Thursday remains in custody after a judge yesterday granted a 36-hour extension to his detention.

'No possible justification'

Superintendent Kellie McMillan, local commander for Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Policing District, described the attack on Mr Whitla as 'totally senseless'.

"He was discovered in Lord Lurgan Park at approximately 8.15pm and, following a post mortem examination today [Friday], it's confirmed that Mr Whitla died from gunshot wounds," she said.

"This totally senseless murder took place in a local park.

"Those responsible had no thought whatsoever for the victim, his family or for the people of Lurgan.

"I condemn their actions in the strongest possible terms."

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell and Superintendent Kellie McMillan (Image: PSNI)

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell, added: "Shane leaves loved ones behind including four children.

"There's no possible justification for this murder.

"He was shot a number of times, including once in the back.

"No one should protect the person responsible for this."

He urged anyone with information to contact police on 101, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

McNally link dismissed

DCI Caldwell also moved to dampen reports that the murder was linked to that of 32-year-old Natalie McNally, who was killed in her home on December 18, a little over a mile away from Lord Lurgan Park.

"Finally, I am aware of speculation in the local community that this may be linked to the murder of Natalie McNally here in Lurgan before Christmas," he said.

"This is not the case. Police are not investigating any links between these two murders."

Crimestoppers is a charity independent of the police through which information can be given anonymously.

They can be contacted on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org