Man dies after he was shot multiple times outside Belfast school while he was waiting to pick up his son
Jim Donegan was picking up his son from school when he was fatally shot by a gunman who opened fire on his Porsche Panamera in West Belfast yesterday in front of stunned students
A father, aged in his forties, was picking up his teenage son from school when he was shot dead in front of dozens of shocked children.
Jim Donegan was targeted in a gangland-style attack in front of scores of horrified children while he was sitting in his luxury $100,000 2017 Porsche Panamera and waiting for his son near St Mary's Grammar School in West Belfast. According to police, the married father-of-two was shot multiple times and hit in the head before he died at the scene.
Donegan owned a haulage business and was known to have associates and business links in the underworld. According to local reports, his death was probably linked to an ongoing war between the Kinahan and Hutch crime families.
Authorities are now searching for the alleged hitman who left the scene on foot. He was wearing a high-visibility vest emblazoned with the word "security" on the back, they added. Pupils at St Mary’s Grammar School in west Belfast will be offered counseling after the harrowing incident.
The school issued a statement on Tuesday evening saying it will be closed on Wednesday as forensics officers covered the victim's Porsche in a tarpaulin and combed the area for clues. "The thoughts and prayers of the Principal and all the staff are with our pupil and his family at this very sad time," the school's statement said. "Ensuring that all pupils got home safely was our absolute focus following this tragic incident. The school will be closed on Wednesday, December 5 due to the on-going investigation. The school will be providing pupils with counseling and support services."
West Belfast MP Paul Maskey said: "It is deeply concerning that this killing was carried out in full view of hundreds of kids who were leaving school at the time."
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said yesterday: "Police are currently at the scene of a shooting during which a man died. I would like to appeal to anyone who saw a man in his 40s, wearing a high vis vest with the words Security on the back heading in the direction of Glen Road, as well as anyone who witnessed the shooting or was in the Glen Road area from 3pm, to come forward and speak to police."
A Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) statement said: "The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service received a 999 call at 15:14 on Tuesday 04 December 2018 following reports of an incident in the Glen Road area of Belfast. Two paramedic officers and one rapid response paramedic were dispatched to the incident. No one was transported from the scene."
SDLP councilor Tim Attwood claimed that Donegan was killed "instantly" during the shooting and could not be taken to the hospital on an emergency.
"It is absolutely sickening that a gun was fired in the vicinity of both a primary and secondary school in west Belfast today," he said. "A number of pupils witnessed this fatality and are understandably very disturbed and frightened after this reckless act occurred nearby the school gates. There is absolutely no place for this in 2018; this madness belongs in the past and we cannot allow it to once again become our normality. I cannot stress enough that any information relating to this incident must be passed to the PSNI immediately."
That said, detectives are yet to comment on any potential motives behind the attack or who may be responsible for it, Daily Mail reports.