Police brand Shane Whitla murder as 'senseless' as post-mortem confirm victim died of gunshot wounds

  • Tori Watson reports

Detectives investigating the murder of Shane Whitla in a Lurgan park have confirmed that the victim was known to police, and that he was shot multiple times, including once in the back.

Police condemned the actions of those responsible and said police will conduct "high visibility patrolling" in the area.

The 39-year-old local man, who is a father of four, was found in Lord Lurgan Park on Thursday.

A 29-year-old man arrested in Lurgan on Thursday night as part of the investigation remains in custody.

Superintendent Kellie McMillan said a post mortem confirmed that Mr Whitla had died of gunshot wounds, and called it a "senseless murder".

"Those responsible had no thought whatsoever for the victim, his family, or for the people of Lurgan. I condemn their actions and strongest possible terms," she said.

Detective chief inspector John Caldwell added that police are not investigating any links between this murder and the killing of Natalie McNally in Lurgan before Christmas.

Police had earlier confirmed that they were attending a scene in Lord Lurgan Park in the vicinity of Derry Street on Thursday evening.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it received a 999 call at 8.11pm after reports of an incident.

Two emergency crews were then dispatched to the scene.

DUP MP for Upper Bann, Carla Lockhart, said police have asked that they are "given space" to carry out their inquiries.

"Thoughts are with the family of the deceased," she said on Twitter.

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