Father-of-three Liam Christie (44) fired ‘up to four times’ in brutal Antrim murder, say police

The murder of Liam Christie in Antrim was ‘a brutal murder’, police said after revealing the 44-year-old was shot ‘up to four times at close range’.

At a PSNI news conference on Friday afternoon, Detective Inspector Rachel Wilson confirmed the father-of-three was the victim of the shooting in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Police said Mr Christie had moved into his house in the Craighill area of ​​the Ballycraigy estate “in recent weeks”.

“This is a brutal murder and I am appealing for information to help bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice,” she said.

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PSNI officers at the Ballycraigy estate house in Antrim yesterday

The PSNI has confirmed that it arrested a 31-year-old man who is still assisting officers with their investigations.

“Although the investigation is at a very early stage, I am interested in the times of 7 p.m. on Wednesday October 19 and 9 a.m. on Thursday October 20.

“Have you heard of anything unusual in this area? »

DI Wilson said the PSNI was already aware that a member of the public may have heard gunfire around 2am on Thursday morning, although he initially believed it to be gunfire. ‘artifice.

“We would like to know if anyone else heard any unusual noises around this time.

“Liam’s three sons and his partner are trying to come to terms with the loss of Liam in such violent circumstances,” she continued.

“The community of Craighill is also shocked that such a brutal murder could have taken place in their area.

“I would appeal to anyone with any information, however trivial they think it may be, to bring it to the police by calling 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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DCI Rachel Wilson speaks to the media at Antrim Police Station on Friday, in relation to the murder of Liam Christie. Pic Colm Lenaghan / Pacemaker

DI Wilson said Mr Christie was ‘known to the police’ and the PSNI was keeping an open mind, refusing to be fired on whether the PSNI was investigating paramilitary involvement.

There has been speculation that Mr Christie, who is believed to be from north Belfast, was recently ordered out of the area by a drug gang linked to the LVF.

“At this stage of the investigation, I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment further,” she said.

Mr Christie was found dead around 9am on Thursday at a house in Craighill in the Ballycraigy estate where it is understood he had been staying with his girlfriend for several weeks.

DUP adviser Paul Dunlop urged calm as he warned against speculation about a possible motive.

“I got a message around 10 a.m. saying something happened,” he said.

“They (the police) reacted and it’s an ongoing investigation, and unfortunately someone lost their life.

“I know there is speculation out there which, to be honest, is of no use.

“I encourage those speculating to let the police continue their investigation.”

Mr Dunlop called for witnesses to come forward and offered his condolences to those close to the man.

He added: “There is a family currently grieving and I would offer my condolences.

“If anyone has any information, pass it on to the police.

“I ask for calm in the region, this community wants to live in peace.”

A relative of Mr Christie had tried to get to the property six hours after the body was found, but had been unsuccessful.

“I just want to know what happened,” he pleaded after realizing what had happened after seeing crime scene footage on the news.

A house near Broomhill was also cordoned off during the scene investigation, including a footpath that connects the two streets.

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