Wednesday, February 21

Two arrests in Lyra McKee murder



Two men have been arrested following the brutal murder of Belfast journalist Lyra McKee in Derry on Thursday night.

The men, aged 18 and 19 were arrested last night by the PSNI under The Terrorism Act in connection to the murder of Ms McKee.

PSNI officers said the men have been taken to the Musgrave Serious Crime Suite.

The freelance journalist 29, was tragically shot dead during a night of rioting in Creggan. She was rushed to hospital in a police Land Rover but was later pronounced dead.

The PSNI released a statement on Friday morning condemning the terrorist incident, and confirmed a murder investigation was launched.

Assistant Chief Constable for District Policing Mark Hamilton described the night of carnage and appealed for no further violence over the Easter weekend.

He said: Lyra McKee was murdered during orchestrated violence in Creggan last night.

A single gunman fired shots in a residential area of the city and as a result wounded Ms McKee.

Officers quickly administered first aid before transporting her in the back of a Land Rover to hospital. Tragically she died from her injuries.

At this stage we believe her murder was carried out by a violent dissident republican. Our thoughts are very much with the family and friends of Ms McKee, who was a journalist based in Belfast.

Coming up to 11pm we estimate there were about 100 people in the area including young people and members of the media. It was around this time that the gunman fired a number of shots.

I am appealing for anyone who was in the area and could assist in either identifying the gunman or has information about where he went afterwards to contact detectives in the incident room on 101 and ask for extension 57074.

You can also pass on whatever information you have to the Crimestoppers charity on freephone 0800 555 111.

The searches were being carried out because we believed that violent dissident republicans were storing firearms and explosives for a number of planned attacks and these may have been used over the Easter weekend in the city.

As we began those searches just after 9pm a crowd gathered and before long upwards of 50 petrol bombs were thrown at officers. Two vehicles were also hijacked and set on fire.