Northern Ireland

Bangor supermarket murder victim shot in front of son

Bangor car park shooting Image copyright Press Eye

A 35-year-old man murdered in a supermarket car park in County Down was fatally shot while in front of his son, police have said.

The PSNI said "the young boy witnessed everything and will undoubtedly carry that memory for the rest of his life".

The man was attacked in a Sainsbury's car park in the Balloo Link area of Bangor at about 15:00 BST on Sunday.

Police said it happened "in broad daylight in front of families who were out enjoying the bank holiday weekend".

Supt Brian Kee described it as a "brutal, senseless and horrendous killing".

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Police and paramedics the scene of Sunday afternoon's shooting

"The recklessness of this murder is all too evident.

"It is beyond belief that the gunman shot the victim when he was out with his son.

"We are very lucky that we are not also dealing with the death of this child today."

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Media captionAlan Chambers describes the aftermath of the Bangor car park shooting

Supt Kee added: "The gunman also showed total disregard for the safety of the public, including other children, who were in the car park at the time of the attack."

He appealed for anyone who witnessed the attack to contact the PSNI.

Ulster Unionist North Down MLA Alan Chambers said he arrived at the scene about 10 minutes after the shooting happened.

"There was a casualty on the ground, there was about six paramedics round the person working very, very hard with CPR and also administering fluids to him," he said.

"They worked on him for maybe 45 minutes, they put him then onto a trolley and moved him into an ambulance and worked on him in the ambulance for another 20 minutes and then the ambulance left the scene with a police escort."

Image caption Wooden pallets were placed over the area where the man was shot

He said everyone in the car park was shocked by what had happened.

"It's only afterwards that it will really hit people, it was such an ordinary Sunday afternoon," he said

"The car park was packed and it was a totally indiscriminate shooting, anybody in the vicinity at all could have fallen victim to a stray bullet."

He said he was told four to six shots were fired.

Image caption The shooting happened outside a Sainsbury's at Balloo Link

"Anybody walking past or driving past, and it is such a busy road, could have been caught up and that makes it all the more dastardly, the discharging of a lethal weapon in that area."

Stuart Kerr, a supermarket worker, said that there was "confusion" after the store was evacuated.

"They basically called over the intercom to have all the medical staff come to the front, and at that point we were wondering what was happening.

Image caption Supermarket worker Stuart Kerr said there was confusion after the store was evacuated

"Then two minutes later they called another announcement saying to evacuate the store, so we had to get the customers out, all the employees out.

"We were out the front and there was confusion really. No one knew what was happening or what had happened."

Supermarket was 'packed'

A shopper, who was in the supermarket at the time of the shooting, told the BBC they were evacuated "right into the middle of the scene".

"A security man came on the tannoy and said for everyone to vacate the premises, to get out as there was an emergency," said the shopper, who did not want to give their name.

"The man who was shot was right outside lying on the ground.

Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption Police have set up a cordon and closed streets around the area where the shooting happened

"The whole shop was evacuated right into the middle of the scene, instead of keeping us inside.

"There were three or four people treating him. Everybody saw it, there were kids, wee kids, aged about four, five and six. The place was packed."

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire tweeted: "Deeply disturbed by news of the shooting in the Sainsbury's car park in Bangor. Brutal act of violence that has no place in Northern Ireland."