A man murdered in Waringstown on Monday night failed to turn up to court in Lisburn to face charges of aggravated burglary just hours before his death.
Malcolm McKeown was gunned down while he sat in a car on the Main Street in Waringstown just before 9pm last night.
The 54-year-old from Meadowvale had been charged with aggravated burglary after his DNA was allegedly discovered on the cable ties used to bind the victim in November of last year.
Having been granted bail by the High Court, Mr McKeown was due to appear at Lisburn court on Monday morning but his solicitor said he had not attended as his bail conditions barred him from entering the city.
Co-accused 37-year-old James Carlisle was refused bail yesterday with a police officer stating that Carlisle, who was wounded in a drive by shooting outside a school in Lurgan in March 2016, “is fearful for his own safety due to some fall out with criminal associates”.
Following last night’s shooting Detectives from PSNI’s Major Investigation Team launched a murder investigation.
Detective Chief Inspector Michelle Shaw said: “The man was found in his vehicle, which was parked at the rear of a filling station on Main Street in the village.”
A car believed to be used in the murder was later found burnt out a short distance away at the Gordon Playing Fields in Lurgan.
DUP Upper Bann MLA Carla Lockhart condemned the shooting incident and has called on anyone with information to come forward to the police.
“It is shocking at anytime for someone to be shot in the constituency but more so in somewhere like Waringstown,” she added.
“It is a generally quiet village with a thriving population and I would condemn this in the strongest terms.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family caught up in this incident and would appeal to anyone with information to come forward to the police.
“They can be contacted anonymously via the confidential Crimestoppers hotline or on the 101 service.”
Alliance Lagan River councillor Eóin Tennyson added: “This represents a shocking and outrageous act of violence.
“There can be no place for guns on our streets in Waringstown or anywhere else in Northern Ireland.
“I am absolutely disgusted by this incident and it must be unequivocally condemned by all.
“I would urge anyone with information to please contact the PSNI.”
DUP councillor Mark Baxter said the local community is in shock.
“This is a quiet residential village and nothing like this would have happened here before,” he said.
Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd said: “The shooting of a man in Waringstown has left the local community absolutely shocked.
“This is a very quiet area and people are appalled by what has happened.
“A PSNI investigation is now underway and that must be allowed to proceed.”