Lyra McKee murder – Cops release image of suspect wanted over death of journalist in 'New IRA' killing
COPS have released images of a suspect wanted over Lyra McKee's death in the "New IRA" killing.
Chilling footage shows three men walking towards the crowd just moments before the 29-year-old journalist was hit by a stray bullet during riots in Londonderry's Creggan estate last Thursday.
Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy of Northern Ireland Police released the clip this morning, saying: "I want to find the people who murdered Lyra… I think people within the community know who they are."
Speaking about the main suspect pictured on the night of Lyra's murder, Mr Murphy said: "He is shorter than both of the other men and is of stocky build.
"It is of my belief that he is the gunman that fired indiscriminately into the crowd and placed the community and police officers at risk.
"I believe he is the person who took the life of Lyra McKee."
Lyra was shot in the head in what officers are treating as a "terrorist incident", amid disturbances in the Creggan estate in Londonderry on Thursday, April 18.
It is of my belief that he is the gunman that fired indiscriminately into the crowd and placed the community and police officers at risk
The reporter, who was covering the unrest, died later in hospital.
The clip also shows two other men police want to speak to in connection with the death.
Both are said to be carrying a crate of petrol bombs towards the crowd where around 100 people had gathered.
One of the men can be seen wearing dark skinny jeans, blue Nike trainers, a dark cap and a scarf covering his face.
Dissident republican group the New IRA have admitted responsibility for Lyra's murder, but Mr Murphy said the 140 people who had come forward so far would not be enough to "get me to a courtroom" to press charges.
'THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD'
On Wednesday, hundreds of mourners packed out St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast to mourn the loss of Lyra, who had planned to propose to partner Sara Canning next month.
Speaking before political leaders including Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Irish premier Leo Varadkar, Father Martin Magill met with a standing ovation when he declared: "I commend our political leaders for standing together… I am however left with a question: Why in God's name does it take the death of a 29-year-old woman?"
In a direct appeal to those responsible for Lyra's death, Fr Magill added: "To those who had any part in her murder, I encourage you to reflect on Lyra McKee, journalist and writer, as a powerful example of 'The pen is mightier than the sword'.
"I plead with you to take the road of non-violence to achieve your political ends."
The New IRA is an amalgam of armed groups opposed to the peace process and it recently claimed responsibility for parcel bombs sent to London and Glasgow in March.
Anyone with any information, or who witnessed the murder, is urged to contact the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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