Police have made an appeal for information on the first anniversary of the murder of Jim Donegan outside his son’s school in west Belfast.
The 43-year-old father was murdered on 4 December 2018, as he sat in his red Porsche Panamera, registration JDZ34, outside a school on the Glen Road in West Belfast, waiting to pick up his 13-year-old son.
The cold blooded execution was carried out by a lone gunman in front of hundreds of innocent school children and their parents.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery commented: "My enquiries now lead me to believe that ONH was also involved.
You may think something you saw was insignificant but it may be the final piece of the jigsaw needed.
“I am confident that the answer to finding those involved in Jim’s murder lies within the community and I am appealing to people living in the area around Clonelly Avenue – where the gunman emerged from before walking along the Glen Road to carry out the assassination – to cast their minds back to this day last year,” DCI Montgomery said.
“I know from talking to witnesses that people were aware of someone wearing a bright fluorescent jacket and that recollections are focussed on this but I need people to try and remember if they saw the face of the person wearing it or anything unusual or distinct.
“On the day of Jim’s murder I believe the gunman emerged from Clonelly Avenue onto Glen Road around 3.10pm. He then walked past numerous children at around 3.15pm, calmly activated the pedestrian crossing, crossed the road and walked up Jim’s car, firing his weapon 8 times before fleeing the scene. He was wearing a high-vis hip length yellow jacket with security on the back, dark bottoms with a grey-coloured hat or hood and carrying a dark bag over his shoulder which I believe contained the gun. I want to hear from you if you were in the area at the time. Did you see the gunman? Did he go into a house afterwards or get into a waiting car? Perhaps you have heard anyone talking about the killing?
“I also believe the same man tried to murder Jim five days earlier in circumstances that would appear to be the carbon copy of the actual murder. Someone somewhere knows where he went after the murder, or may have helped him to escape out of the area unseen.”
During the investigation detectives have:
Seized 607 evidential exhibits
Taken 213 statements
Made 13 arrests
Conducted 12 searches
Seized and viewed 342 hours of CCTV
Jim was a husband, a brother, a father to two sons and a stepfather and this will be the second Christmas they will face without him. They deserve to have answers and this community deserves to have this dangerous man sent to prison for this callous murder.
Detective Chief Inspector Montgomery added: “He thought nothing of firing indiscriminately up to 8 times in an area crowded with young children and their parents at school pick up.
“Any one of those bullets could have gone astray and killed a child. And he didn’t care that mums, dads, grandparents, young siblings and people in the community also saw the brutal slaying.
DCI Montgomery added: “I am appealing for the public’s help to remove this ruthless man from our streets. He may be late 30s to early 40’s, approximately 5’8” and may walk with a limp or may have an existing medical condition that impacts on his walking style. He was wearing a high-vis hip length yellow jacket with security on the back, dark bottoms with a grey coloured hat or hood and carrying a dark bag over his shoulder which I believe contained the gun.
“I would appeal to anyone with information about the day of Jim’s murder or the attempt that was abandoned the previous week, to contact police on 101.”