The victim Mark Hall

Belfast Shooting Mars Christmas

Police in Belfast have launched a murder investigation after the shooting dead of a man in the West of the city on Saturday.

Mark Hall, who was in his thirties, was shot dead after two gunmen fired through the living room window of his home in Rodney Drive.

Detective Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan said: “No one deserves to be killed, or killed in a brutal manner like this.”

He said the gunmen were “reckless" in their actions.

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“We could have been dealing with multiple fatalities today.”

Other family members escaped injury during the attack. A bullet passed through Mark Hall’s sister’s handbag as she tried to intervene as she returned from a shop.

People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll, who was on the scene soon after, condemned the shooting.

“Horrific to hear another shooting happening this evening in West Belfast,” he said.

“I have been on the ground tonight speaking with residents in the St. James’ area and people are disgusted and outraged that guns have been brought out and used once again in our communities.

“There is absolutely no place or justification for these heinous acts. My thoughts tonight are with the victim, their family and everyone impacted by this barbaric and awful incident.”

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan said: “Today a local man was shot in an attack in St James.' There is absolutely no place in our community for guns or for those involved in this attack. 

“A police operation is ongoing in the St James' area and I would appeal to anyone with information on this shooting to bring it forward to the PSNI.”

SDLP West Belfast representative, Paul Doherty, condemned the shooting. 

“This incident has been deeply shocking and distressing to the St. James' community," he said.

"There is no place in our society for violence. Of course, the thoughts of the whole community will first and foremost be with the victim this evening after this heinous attack.  

“I would encourage anyone with information to come forward and assist the PSNI with their enquiries.”