Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Major Investigation Team have confirmed that the man shot dead in Rodney Drive in West Belfast yesterday was 31 year old Mark Hall.

Detective Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan said: “We have commenced a murder investigation following the brutal shooting of Mark yesterday afternoon.

“What we currently know is that two gunmen approached Mark’s family home on Rodney Drive shortly after 4:30pm yesterday evening, Saturday 18 December.

“Mark’s sister, who was returning from the local shops, saw the gunmen approach the house and tried to intervene before a number of shots were fired through the front window striking and fatally wounding Mark.

“A number of family members were present in the room when these shots were fired, all narrowly missing injury.

“As the gunmen made off a shot was also fired at Mark’s sister which passed through her handbag leaving this woman lucky to be alive today.

“Mark was taken to hospital and despite the efforts of medical professionals, he sadly died a short time later as a result of his injuries.

“Our thoughts are very much with his entire family who are in a state of absolute shock and grieving for their loved one. No family should ever have to go through this unbelievable level of heartbreak.

“There is no place for guns and reckless violence on our streets, the thoughtless actions of these gunmen could have resulted in a greater loss of life than we have currently witnessed.

“A robust investigation has been launched to identify the perpetrators of this callous attack.

“It is too early to speculate on the motive for this murder. However, we do believe this was a targeted attack and our officers will be working over the coming days to piece together all the information and gather evidence.

“These gunmen do not think about the impact attacks like these have on the wider community, who are rightfully shocked and fearful.

“I would appeal to anyone who has information about this murder to bring that forward to the police so that we can remove these dangerous individuals from our streets.

“I need to hear from those who may have witnessed anyone acting suspiciously in the Rodney Drive area, before or after the shooting. Please contact police or CrimeStoppers should you wish to remain anonymous.

“This is a busy area with many residents and I am also asking anyone who may have captured any video footage of the incident to please make that available to us.”

Anyone with any information about this incident or who may be able to help with the Police investigation, is asked to call on the non-emergency number 101, or submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/