Page last updated at 06:38 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 07:38 UK

Shocked city holds murder vigil

Emmett Shiels was shot dead in Creggan
The death of Emmet Shiels has sparked a wave of revulsion

Up to 1,000 people have held a vigil in memory of a 22-year-old man shot dead in Londonderry's Creggan area.

Emmett Shiels, from Tyrconnell Street in the Bogside, was shot in the Bligh's Lane area at about 0045 BST on Tuesday. He was delivering pizzas when he was caught up in a confrontation with masked gunmen.

Police believe he was shot when he intervened to defend the intended target. Dissident republicans are being blamed for the attack.

The killing has sparked a wave of revulsion throughout the city, and among those attending the vigil near the scene of the shooting were Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin and the Mayor of Derry, Gerard Diver of the SDLP.

Mr McGuinness, who is a family friend, said anyone who has information about the murder should contact the police.

"They should do everything in their power to bring these people to justice," he said.

'Murdered in cold blood'

Detective Chief Inspector Frankie Taylor said Mr Shiels was an "innocent man" who had been "murdered in cold blood for no reason".

He said the victim had became involved in a row by chance, and had not participated in any violence.

DCI Taylor said they were following a definite line of inquiry. Two vehicles have been recovered, one in Creggan and one in Pennyburn.

It is understood Mr Shiels was being chased by a group of masked men across a grassy area near St Mary's Chapel and the city cemetery when he was shot.

Community worker Sean McMonagle, describes the scene

He was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital, but died from his injuries.

The detective said a shot had been fired during an earlier incident in Abbot's Walk in the Bogside, and Mr Shiels had encountered those responsible as he was driving along Lone Moor Road in his pizza delivery van.

Mr Taylor said Mr Shiels was then confronted on Eastway by masked men wearing camouflage suits, and was shot shortly afterwards.

"He became involved purely because he was driving a vehicle along the Lone Moor Road," said Mr Taylor.

"We believe that he knew some of the people involved, and that was why he stopped.

"It is also our belief that he was trying to defend others," he said.

His partner was expecting a baby, and Mr Shiels' sister, Maureen Wilkinson, said the family was devastated.

"He was a good young fella, he was about to become a father himself and that baby's never going to see his father," she said.

Mr Shiels's adoptive father, Patsy Moore, said he had a "fair idea" who was responsible.

"People in the area are helping overwhelmingly," he said.

"They've come out in big numbers and they've given information to the police, and we would appeal to anyone who has any information to hand it over."

Local people had raised concerns about the initial police response to the shooting, claiming it was nearly three hours after the attack that police cordoned off the area.

Police said they were at the scene "as soon as was practical", while a senior officer said there had been a genuine fear of an ambush.




SEE ALSO
Shooting victim an 'innocent man'
24 Jun 08 |  Foyle and West
Victim's family appeal to killers
24 Jun 08 |  Foyle and West
Man dead following city shooting
24 Jun 08 |  Foyle and West


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific