Killers posed as take-away delivery men

Gunmen who killed a Northern Ireland father-of-four posed as Chinese take-away delivery men, police have confirmed.

Geoff Kerr, 60, a financial adviser and member of the Ulster Unionist Party, was shot dead on the doorstep of his home at Lylehill Road in Templepatrick in Co Antrim on Monday night.

Last night a senior detective leading the murder investigation described the killing as “cold and calculated”.

Detective Chief Inspector Jonathan Roberts said he had ruled out dissident republican involvement but was keeping an “open mind” about a motive.

The police officer, operating out of North Queen Street station, declined to be drawn on speculation that the shooting may have been a case of mistaken identity or a robbery gone wrong.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: “Last night (Monday) two men forced their way into the house. They were under the pretence of being Chinese take-away delivery men and Mr Kerr was shot and sustained fatal injuries.

“We are keeping an open mind as to the motive but we are satisfied at this stage that there is nothing to suggest that dissident republicans were involved.

“We are still examining the circumstances of it and can’t comment as to exactly what happened or what the motive for this was.”

Mr Kerr had lived and worked in the Ballymena area for many years, where he was also a member of a gun club.

At the time of the shooting, his wife Sally and one of his four sons were at home. It is understood Mrs Kerr answered the door to the gunmen and was overpowered as they forced their way into the property at about 9.55pm.

Meanwhile a car, believed to have been used in the murder was found abandoned and burnt out close to Glenavy — about 10 miles from the scene.

Added Detective Chief Inspector Roberts: “I am appealing for information from anybody in the community who has any suspicions as to who may have been involved or indeed knows who was involved.

“And we are appealing for information about a silver or dark coloured BMW, WIB 6610, which may have been involved in this incident. This vehicle was found burnt out at Ballyminymore Road outside Glenavy and we are appealing for information from anybody who may have seen this car yesterday.”

A major incident room has been set up at North Queen Street police station in Belfast.

Chief Inspector Roberts said the public response had been “excellent” but urged anyone with information to come forward.

“So far there has been an excellent response but we need people to step forward and assist us and provide us with evidence that will lead to making arrests that will put people before the court,” he added.

Forensic examinations were carried out at the murder scene throughout yesterday and are expected to continue for several days. Mr Kerr’s body will also have to be sent for a post mortem examination.

This article is from The Belfast Telegraph