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Police connect separate murders

Police connect separate murders of two men in west Belfast

Almost a year separates the deaths of two men in west Belfast, yet police have established a link between the “horrifically savage” killings of both victims. Detectives suspect the same two gunmen were responsible for the daytime shooting deaths of Sean Fox and Mark Hall.

On Saturday, 18 December 2021, Hall, age 31, was murdered in his family’s home on Rodney Drive in Belfast. One of the two attackers aimed for the front window and fired a shot.

On Sunday, October 2nd, this year, 42-year-old Fox was murdered at the Donegal Celtic Football Club, located off the Suffolk Road. The father of two was shot by two unknown gunmen inside the club in front of a crowd of over a hundred people.

“I can reveal that investigators are now formally linking the hideously violent deaths of Mark Hall and Sean Fox,” Det Supt Eamonn Corrigan, head of the PSNI’s major investigation teams, stated.

CCTV footage was collected and after thorough review it appears that the same two gunmen committed the murders. We now believe the killings were carried out by a criminal gang consisting of individuals with ties to terrorism and/or current or former members of terrorist groups.

Despite his claim that the killings “bore all the markings of dissident republican homicides,” he claimed that the police were not yet attributing responsibility to a specific group.

Similarities between the two murders, according to Corrigan, include “the location of west Belfast” and “the audacious and reckless nature of the shootings in public in broad daylight.”

The police think Fox was “singled out” when he was having a drink in a crowded banquet hall. They spent about 21 seconds inside the building. The officer estimated that there were at least 20 bullet holes in the building.

The suspects in Mr. Fox’s murder were claimed by police to have ridden bicycles to and from the site. A generic, low-spec model mountain bike that was either light grey or silver was described as being ridden by one of the suspects. He then remarked, “There is a plastic bag over the seat.”

The second criminal was riding what “appears to be a Fizik Arione, or a duplicate of this type,” which describes “a racing bike with a characteristic back point to the saddle.” The handlebars, stem, and tape were all white, and the tyres were white as well. His attire consisted of a blue hoodie, dark pants, shoes, and gloves, and a light grey hat.

When the two killers showed up to Hall’s mother’s house, police said, they displayed the same callousness toward the safety of locals that they had shown during the murder. A man “turned around and fired a shot at Mark’s sister” as the masked men opened fire through the front window and ran away.

A silver Skoda Superb cab with the licence plate GM16 YCA was released by detectives when the two suspects arrived at St. James’s Crescent on December 18 of last year. In light of the fact that “the cab has never been discovered,” Corrigan is appealing to anyone who may know the whereabouts of the vehicle to get in touch with the authorities.

Police have issued images of the suspects and asked that anyone with information get in touch. This week, detectives have undertaken many searches and made several arrests in west Belfast in connection with both killings.

Mukul Kumar

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