The detective leading the Lyra McKee murder probe has issued an appeal for footage of the killing that was filmed on mobile phones and shared on social media on Thursday evening.
Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said he was specifically seeking evidence from people who may have inadvertently captured the atrocity while filming rioting in Creggan last week.
Over 140 people have already contacted the PSNI with information via an online portal set up in the wake of Miss McKee's murder.
“I know that a large number of people were in the area of Fanad Drive and Central Drive on Thursday night.Many of these people were clearly using their phones to video events and will have imagery which may be vitally important. Please come and speak with my detectives and provide us with your mobile phone footage,” said DS Murphy.
The senior detective sought to assure those fearful of coming forward that he was keen to accommodate them.
“We do not need to hold on to your phone, we have necessary equipment that will allow us to download the footage quickly. Alternatively, you can use the Major Incident Public Portal at www.MIPP.police.ukto upload footage or to tell us what they know.
“We have already received unprecedented support from the local community and I would like to thank them for helping us to seek justice for Lyra’s family. I know there will be some people who know what happened but are scared to come forward. I want to reassure you that we will work with you sensitively,” he said.
DS Murphy believes the appalling murder of the 29-year-old writer could prove a watershed moment.
“There is a sense that what happened to Lyra marked a sea change and I want people to have the confidence to come forward and help us. Those who killed Lyra in this cowardly attack must not be allowed to do this again. The individuals responsible for Lyra’s murder continue to hide in the shadows, attempting to justify their actions to each other.
“They have shown no courage to offer any explanation directly to Lyra’s family. Meanwhile the community continue to work together with local policing to bring a lasting and positive change for the community of the Creggan. This should be Lyra’s legacy,” he said.
Earlier, a claim by Saoradh that a ‘Republican Volunteer’ accidentally shot Miss McKee, was angrily dismissed by the Deputy Chief Constable of the PSNI Stephen Martin.
He said: “The sole and total responsibility for Lyra McKee’s death lies with the organisation that sent someone out...with a gun into a built up urban environment that was densely populated at the time and got that person to pull a trigger in the direction of police lines and fatally wounded Lyra.
“The sole responsibility lies with that grouping and the people who are members of that grouping and obviously particularly the number of people involved in that particular attack.”
Two men, aged 18 and 19, arrested by police investigating the murder were released without charge on Sunday.
A still from video footage circulated on social media on Thursday showing a gunman firing shots up Fanad Drive from the corner of Central Drive as a number of people film the incident on mobile phones.