Police name victim of execution-style murder in Co. Down

Police name victim of execution-style murder in Co. Down

POLICE have named the victim of a fatal shooting in Co. Down as 58-year-old Mark Lovell.

Mr Lovell was shot a number of times at close range while in his car near his home in Ardcarn Park, Newry, just after 6pm on Thursday.

The PSNI have appealed for information to identify the killers, who police say lay in wait for their victim 'to essentially ambush and execute him'.

'Family bereft'

"Mark Lovell was a much-loved husband and father and was cruelly and callously gunned down as he drove towards his own home in the early evening," said Detective Chief Inspector Anthony Kelly.

"This appalling murder occurred at a time when local people were out and about, and indeed many neighbours who heard the gunshots immediately ran to provide what assistance they could.

"We believe those responsible went to great lengths to plan their attack and lie in wait for their victim to essentially ambush and execute him.

"They have shown a startling lack of regard for human life and have left a devastated and bereft family in their wake."

Liz, Kimmins, Sinn Féin MLA for Newry and Armagh, appealed for anyone with information to contact the PSNI.

"Local people are in a state of shock," she said.

"There is absolutely no place in our community for guns or for those involved in this attack."

'No moral compass'

Police had earlier condemned the 'reckless' attack, which took place in a busy residential area.

"This murder took place in a built-up residential area of Newry at teatime, when people would have been coming home from work and when families and children would have been out and about in the run-up to Christmas," said Superintendent Norman Haslett on Friday.

"This was beyond reckless. Anyone — any child, any neighbour — could all too easily have been seriously injured or worse.

"Indeed, after the attack, the victim's car ended up crashing into a neighbouring property.

"Those responsible had no thought whatsoever for the victim, for his family or for the local community.

"They have no moral compass and I would condemn their actions in the strongest possible terms."

Superintendent Haslett appealed for calm over fears of a retribution attack, with one line of enquiry being that the murder was linked a cross-border feud between criminal gangs.

As police work to establish a motive, he urged anyone with information or camera footage from the area at the time of the murder to contact detectives from the Major Investigation Team on 101.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.