A MAN shot dead in Belfast over the weekend is thought to have been a suspect in the brutal gangland murder of 17-year-old Keane Mulready-Woods.
The victim was shot a number of times at close range at a property on Etna Drive in the Ardoyne area of Belfast just before noon on Saturday, April 4.
He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crime.
According to RTE, the man was a well-known figure to gardai and thought to be a senior figure in serious and organised crime involving gangs in the Drogheda region.
He was also a suspect in the callous murder of teenager Mulready-Woods.
Mulready-Woods was abducted from the Ballsgrove area of Drogheda in Co Louth last January.
The teen was then taken to a house in Rathmullen Park where he was killed and his body was dismembered, with his arms and legs dumped in a bag in Coolock, North Dublin on the night of Monday, January 13.
The body parts were deliberately left near a rival gangster’s home in the region. Two days later, Mulready-Woods' head and hands were found in a burning car in Drumcondra.
Three men have been arrested on suspicion of murder following Saturday’s shooting.
All three are being questioned by detectives at Musgrave police station.
Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy described the shooting as a “heinous crime”.
"Not only did they carry out this callous murder, leaving a family experiencing their worst nightmare, but they did not care that children and other members of this north Belfast community were placed at risk,” he said.
"Murder is a heinous crime and killing someone during this global coronavirus pandemic is sickening when people are trying to adjust to living a new way and trying to cope with the pressures this brings.
"Those involved in this murder selfishly gave no thought to the impact on front-line emergency services who are already working hard to keep people safe with an already stretched resource."
Mr Murphy is appealing for information related to the killing, with police continuing to follow "a number of lines of inquiry".
"A light-coloured car, registration YLZ 7052, was found burned out in nearby Kingston Court and I am currently seeking to establish what relevance this car has to my investigation,” he said.
"I know the community is in shock at the moment but I would appeal to anyone who has information about this appalling murder to bring that information forward to the police.
"I am aware the area was busy with pedestrians and people out in their front gardens, so I am asking anyone who may have captured any footage of the incident to please make that available to us. I have activated the Major Incident Public Portal which can be accessed at mipp.police.uk.
"The investigation team can be contacted by calling 101, quoting reference 562 of April 4."