Man, 35, shot dead in front of son, 3, in Sainsbury's supermarket car park in Bangor


Bethany Minelle, News Reporter
A 35-year-old man was shot dead while strapping his son into his car seat in a supermarket car park in Northern Ireland.
Colin Horner was hit several times outside a Sainsbury's supermarket on the outskirts of Bangor in County Down.
The Loyalist from Carrickfergus, County Antrim, had recently relocated to the area after threats to his life.
Calling the murder a "hugely barbaric act" police said it was lucky his three-year-old son, who was "immediately beside his father when he was shot dead in front of him" was not killed or seriously injured as well.
The shooting is believed to have occurred at about 3pm on Sunday in the packed car park, just off the Balloo Link road.
Detectives said Mr Horner was strapping his son into the back seat of his black Nissan Pulsar when he was confronted by a lone attacker who fired at least three shots from a handgun.
The gunman, who had his face covered and was wearing a dark hoody, escaped in a red Ford Mondeo driven by an accomplice.
The vehicle was later found burned out about 10 miles away in the Kerrs Road area.
Investigators said there may have been more than 100 people who witnessed the shooting, including children who were in the car park at the time.
Calling the incident "a completely reckless act" police revealed one stray bullet struck another shopper's car during the attack.
Mr Horner was an associate of fellow Carrickfergus loyalist George 'Geordie' Gilmore, who was shot dead in the town in March.
Mr Gilmore, 44. was killed as part of a long-running feud among rival loyalists in Carrickfergus, and police have confirmed this ongoing conflict will be one of the lines of inquiry into this shooting.
Superintendent Brian Kee, district commander for Ards and North Down District, condemned what he called a "brutal, senseless and horrendous killing" and warned of the psychological trauma the man's son has suffered.
"This cold-blooded murder was carried out in broad daylight in front of families who were out enjoying this Bank Holiday weekend," he said.
"The recklessness of this murder is all too evident. It is beyond belief that the gunman shot the victim when he was out with his son.
"This young boy witnessed everything and he will undoubtedly carry that memory for the rest of his life. We are very lucky that we are not also dealing with the death of this child today."
Alan Chambers, Ulster Unionist MLA in Stormont, who was on the scene 10 minutes after the attack, said: "It was clear to me that we could easily have been dealing with a lot more casualties due to the nature of the attack, in which the victim was hit a number of times."
Northern Ireland secretary of state James Brokenshire condemned the shooting, posting on Twitter: "Deeply disturbed by news of the shooting in the Sainsbury's car park in Bangor. Brutal act of violence that has no place in Northern Ireland."
Police are currently trawling through CCTV footage taken in the car park, and are appealing for any witnesses to contact them, or alternatively to speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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