Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 17:22 UK

Killers posed as delivery drivers


Forensic officers examine the scene of the shooting in Templepatrick

The gunmen who murdered a County Antrim financial adviser may have posed as delivery drivers for a Chinese take-away, police have said.

Father-of-four Geoff Kerr, 60, was shot dead at his home in Templepatrick just before 2200 BST on Monday.

Detective Inspector Jonathon Roberts, who is leading the murder investigation, said it had been a "cold and calculated killing".

"We have no clear motive for this attack at this time," he said.

He said that that they did not believe dissident republicans were involved in the murder.

However, it is understood police are still looking into a possible loyalist paramilitary connection to the killing.

The attack happened outside Mr Kerr's home in the old village area of Templepatrick, which is 10 miles north of Belfast.

He was married with four sons. His wife Sally and one of his sons were in the house when the shooting took place.

Mr Kerr, who only moved to Templepatrick about a year and a half ago, has been described by a relative as a "happy-go-lucky family man".

He had lived and worked in the Ballymena area for many years, where he was also a member of a gun club.

Killers posed as delivery drivers

A family friend told the BBC no-one had any idea why Mr Kerr had been attacked: "Sally his wife is just numb and the boys are in shock, we just can't think of a reason why Geoff would be targeted''.

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey said his thoughts and prayers were with the family of Mr Kerr who was a member of the party.

"Although I did not know Geoff personally, I understand he only joined the party last year and on Saturday attended our AGM," he said.

"Since this morning, I have spoken to party colleagues and Geoff has been described as a gentleman, a family man and as a man with boundless energy.

SDLP assembly member Tommy Burns said he understood that Mr Kerr was shot after answering a knock at the door.

DUP South Antrim MP William McCrea said he did not think dissident republican involvement would be the "leading line of inquiry".

Burnt out

"I certainly hope it is not, but irrespective of who is responsible - we've got to catch them, we've got to take these killers off the streets of Northern Ireland.

Police have appealed to anyone who saw a dark-coloured BMW car with a number of men inside driving through Templepatrick between 2100 and 2230 BST on Monday to contact them.

A car matching this description was later found burnt out on a lane off the Ballyminymore Road outside Glenavy, about 10 miles away. It is being examined.

A car was later found burnt out near Glenavy
Police are examining a burnt out car near Glenavy

Sinn Fein Councillor Annemarie Logue said: "We don't yet know a lot about what actually happened, but what we do know is that a family is this morning without a father.

"This is absolutely devastating news - Templepatrick is normally such a quiet area."

Alliance Councillor Alan Lawther said: "Murders should be a thing of the past."

Mel Lucas of Traditional Unionist Voice said local people were "utterly shocked".

"All we know for certain at this stage is that a man has been shot dead," he added.

Police want anyone who witnessed suspicious activity in the area to get in touch.

Templepatrick remains closed between the Old Coach Road and the Antrim Road.

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