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1 May 2003 Edition

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Back to shoot to kill?

One man was shot dead and another injured by members of the PSNI in circumstances echoing the shoot to kill policy operated by the RUC in the 1980s.

21-year-old Neil John McConville from Craigavon was killed when members of the PSNI fired into a car on the Crumlin Road, Ballinderry Upper, near Lisburn, County Antrim on Tuesday night, 29 April.

McConville, who was shot in the chest, was rushed to the Lagan Valley hospital in Lisburn, where he died a short time later. The other man was taken to Craigavon hospital, where he remains in a stable condition.

The PSNI claimed shots were fired at the vehicle after it struck two members of the PSNI.

An eyewitness at the scene said: "it all happened very quickly" and additional members of the PSNI had arrived on the scene "very quickly".

Sinn Féin Assembly member Dara O'Hagan told An Phoblacht that those members of the PSNI involved in the killing should be suspended immediately and there should be an independent inquiry launched into the circumstances of the shooting.

"This is supposed to be a new beginning for policing, yet here we have another killing in suspicious circumstances which has all the hallmarks of a new shoot to kill policy being operated by British securocrats," said O'Hagan.

She added that any investigation should not be shrouded in secrecy "like so-called investigations into previous state killings".

The Police Ombudsman's Office has launched an inquiry into the killing.
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