Gay journalist and author Lyra McKee was shot dead last night (April 18) while reporting at the scene of riots that broke out in Derry, Northern Ireland.
The acclaimed journalist from Belfast was just 29-years-old and had recently signed a two-book deal with publisher Faber & Faber. They are set to publish her book The Lost Boys next year.
Northern Ireland police said Lyra McKee ‘tragically’ died from her injuries
Assistant Chief Constable for District Policing Mark Hamilton said: “Lyra McKee was murdered during orchestrated violence in Creggan last night.
“A single gunman fired shots in a residential area of the city and as a result wounded Ms McKee. Officers quickly administered first aid before transporting her in the back of a landrover to hospital.
“Tragically she died from her injuries. At this stage we believe her murder was carried out by a violent dissident republican. Our thoughts are very much with the family and friends of Ms McKee, who was a journalist based in Belfast.”
Police said they were in the area last night “protecting the public” when shots were fired and McKee was killed. They were carrying out searches as they believed dissident republicans were storing firearms and explosives and had planned attacks over Easter weekend.
“The shock over what happened here in this city last night is hanging heavy over the entire community today.”
– Assistant Chief Constable for District Policing Mark Hamilton
They began conducting searches just after 9pm, however a crowd quickly gathered and violence ensued. 50 petrol bombs were thrown at police officers during the altercation and two vehicles were hijacked and set on fire.
It was close to 11pm when the gunman fired shots, resulting in McKee’s death.
Hamilton added: “The shock over what happened here in this city last night is hanging heavy over the entire community today. As we move into the Easter weekend I would appeal for calm and ask everyone with influence in the community to work together to ensure there are no further acts of violence.”
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