Man shot by Army was innocent

A Catholic man killed by the Army when he was shot in the back 40 years ago was innocent, a police report has said.

Billy McKavanagh, 21, was gunned down as he ran away when confronted by soldiers near Belfast city centre. The soldier responsible maintains that the person he shot was armed, but a report by the Historical Enquiries Team said he was not carrying the weapon – a rivet gun which had been looted and left lying in the street in August 1971 and was picked up by others in his group.

The report said: "Billy's death was an absolute tragedy that should not have happened. He was an innocent man who did nothing more than pick up a pair of waders that had been stolen by someone else and then run away when confronted by the Army."