Kieran Wylie, who had reportedly been warned that his life was in danger from dissident republicans, was shot dead in front of his two daughters at his home in West Belfast.
Kieran Wylie was shot and killed on Sunday, May 17 in front of his daughters, aged 16 and 28, at Lenadoon Avenue in West Belfast.
The 57-year-old had reportedly been warned by police that he was “under threat” from dissident republicans.
During a press briefing on May 18, Detective Chief Inspector Darren McCartney said: "Certainly one of the lines of inquiry we are investigating is that there is a violent dissident republican motive towards this murder."
In a statement, DCI McCartney said, “My investigation into his murder is at a very early stage and I am continuing to make enquiries into events leading up to the shooting," later adding, “It is too early to be sure about the motive for his murder and at this stage I am keeping an open mind.
DCI McCartney said: “It was a brutal killing and I believe Kieran was shot a number of times at very close range.”
“Local residents tried to help Kieran last night and this community will be rightly shocked at what has taken place in this residential area.
McCartney said he is appealing to the public for more information, including CCTV, mobile phone, and dashcam footage.
He added: “Those involved in this murder selfishly gave no thought to the impact on frontline emergency services who are already working hard to keep people safe during this global pandemic with an already stretched resource. They also showed a complete disregard for the community."
Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster expressed revulsion: “At a time when we are trying to protect ourselves from the invisible threat of Covid-19 and our emergency services are working hard to deal with people’s concerns, it is particularly reprehensible that some people can callously take a person’s life.”
Paul Maskey, Sinn Fein MP for Belfast West, condemned the murder and urged anyone with information to help police.
Local SDLP Councilor Brian Heading blamed hardline dissidents within the community. He said, “Those responsible are thugs who need to get their foot off the neck of the community in west Belfast. They weren’t wanted in the past and they aren’t wanted now.”