Belfast Riots, Northern Ireland Violence In Photos kirahoffmann/ Pixabay

A man in Belfast was shot to death in front of his family Saturday night when a spray of bullets was fired through the living room window from outside the home of his mother in Rodney Drive in the St. James area. Two gunmen had approached the house and fired several bullets fatally wounding Mark Hall, 31, and narrowly missing other family members gathered in the room.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Hall’s sister was lucky to be alive after narrowly escaping a gunshot fired at her when she tried to intervene with the suspects. She was returning home from a shopping trip at some local shops around 5 pm and saw the gunmen approaching the home and attempted to stop them. The gunmen let loose on their handguns and shot at the home’s front window, with one bullet piercing through his sister’s handbag.

Witnesses told police the suspects made off in a screeching car soon after the gun attack.

Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan said the men fired at least seven bullets into the home and believes it was a targeted attack. Hall was taken to hospital, but despite efforts of paramedics to save his life, he succumbed to his gunshot wound a short time later. He is survived by his partner Sabrina Wilde, who is pregnant with their second child and their young daughter.

Detectives handling the investigation said Hall had links to organized crime and is believed to be a close friend of slain gangster Warren Crossan. He was not long out of jail after being recently acquitted of gun and drug offenses when the attack took place. Police said Hall and another co-accused, Abdel Rezk, were jailed for three years after both were found in a room at the Balmoral Hotel in possession of two guns, a silencer, and illegal drugs.

Authorities are still trying to determine the motive of the attack as the victim is associated with members of a cross-border crime gang heavily involved in drug dealing and break-ins of homes known to be gun owners in the area.

The local community has been dealing with recent gun violence just before Hall’s attack. Merely 18 months ago, gangland figure Warren was shot dead in broad daylight by two gunmen at St. Katharine’s Road. The suspects chased Crossan and fired several shots in the busy residential area. He was the son of well-known dissident Republican and Continuity IRA boss Tommy Crossan who was also shot dead in 2014. Warren was previously arrested and questioned in connection with the murder of Robbie Lawlor, a Dublin criminal who was shot and killed north of Belfast in April 2020.

As investigations are ongoing, police are appealing to witnesses or anyone who may have any information about the incident to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crime Stoppers. Police are concerned about possible video footage that may have captured the attack or any event related to the incident within the area.

Representation Image Broken Glass Bullet Holes paulsbarlow7/ Pixabay