Police recover gun used in journalist Lyra McKee murder

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Peter Smith

Police in Northern Ireland have confirmed they have recovered the gun used to murder the journalist Lyra McKee.

The weapon was found along with ammunition and a fully primed bomb during searches in Londonderry last week.

The 29-year-old was shot while observing rioting in the Creggan area of Derry in April 2019.

Authorities believe the Hammerli X-Esse - a .22 German-made pistol - had been used in attacks prior to the murder.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy described the recovery of the weapon as "a significant milestone".

He said senior members of the dissident republican group the New IRA were involved, adding: “For the IRA the net is tightening.”

The journalist was shot as she observed rioting in the Creggan area in April 2019.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said: "I can confirm that a gun that was seized and recovered by police last week in Derry was the gun that killed Lyra McKee."

One line of inquiry is that the weapon was stolen some time ago and used a number of times prior to the journalist’s murder.

Mr Murphy said the shot which killed her was fired in the direction of officers.

He said senior members of the dissident republican group the New IRA were involved, adding: "For the IRA the net is tightening."