No clear motive for ‘senseless and callous’ shooting

January 21, 2019

 Police have said there is no clear motive for the fatal shooting in Warrenpoint on Friday evening that claimed the life of 37-year-old Wayne Boylan and critically injured a 21-year-old woman.

Mr Boylan, a father-of-two, was gunned down after two men burst into a flat on Lower Dromore Road around 7.30pm and blasted him in the head with a shotgun.  Pellets struck the 21-year-old woman in the face and neck and she was taken to Daisy Hill Hospital before being transferred to intensive care in the Royal Hospital, Belfast where she underwent emergency surgery and remains in a critical condition.

At a press conference at Ardmore police station in Newry on Saturday, Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce said police had launched a murder investigation and revealed there appeared to be “no clear motive” for the attack.  He described the killers as “cold-blooded” and said the attack was a “senseless and callous murder perpetrated on a completely unsuspecting man”.

DCI Boyce revealed that Mr Boylan was enjoying an evening at his friend’s house in the company of a number of friends when the two masked men, armed with what police believe to be a shotgun, burst into the property and fired at Mr Boylan, striking him in the head and fatally injuring him.  He said Mr Boylan had just come back from a local off-licence 10-15 minutes before the attack and may have been followed.

“Wayne was a father and his two young children have been left without their father. He was a son, a brother and a friend. His murder has caused his family and friends immeasurable pain and their lives will be forever changed by his loss,” said the police chief.

At present no clear motive for the attack on Mr Boylan has been identified and Chief Inspector Boyce has appealed directly to those who may know the people involved to tell the police what they know.

Murder victim: Wayne Boylan.

“Were you in the Lower Dromore Road area last night between 6pm and 8pm ? Did you see the gunmen or any unusual vehicles in the area? Did you see any vehicles being driven erratically in the area of Lower Dromore Road or the dual carriageway between Newry and Warrenpoint yesterday evening around 7:30pm? Please tell us what you saw. We want to be able to give answers to a grieving family. To give them justice by putting his murderers behind bars,” he appealed.

The scene of the fatal shooting on Lower Dromore Road, Warrenpoint on Friday evening.

The Major Investigation Team can be contacted by calling 101 or 028 44 611001, quotig reference 115 18/01/19 or information can by passed anonymously via the Crimestoppers charity.

Local politicians visited the scene and said people in the town are shocked.

SDLP MLA Sinead Bradley said it is “dreadful news to think one family, one home, will hear they have lost a loved one in this manner”.

“You just wouldn’t expect it,” she said, adding that, “Whatever the circumstances, for someone to have lost their life is devastating news.”

Sinn Fein MLA Sinead Ennis said the local community of Warrenpoint are “shocked and stunned” by the shooting.

“Our first thoughts are with the family of the victim,” said Ms Ennis, and she appealed for anyone with information to bring it forward to assist the investigation.

Independent Councillor Jarlath Tinnelly said the shooting was a “shocking event in a very quiet residential area”.

“Warrenpoint generally would be a very quiet town and has seen nothing like this, certainly since the end of the Troubles,” he added.  “It’s an absolutely incredible scene and one that we thought we had all left behind many, many years ago.”