PSNI say 'unusual' gun used in Jock Davison murder
The PSNI have said that the gun used to murder republican Jock Davison on May 5 was "unusual".
On tonight's BBC Crimewatch, detectives appealed to the public for fresh information on the case, which they have described as "challenging".
The 47-year-old was walking to work on Welsh Street in the Markets area of the city on May 5 when he was shot in the back at 9.09am.
The hitman then shot Davison four times in the head as he lay on the ground.
On the BBC Crimewatch programme this evening, Detective Superintendent Kevin Geddes from Serious Crime Branch said: “The weapon and bullets used were an Eastern European type called Makarov.
"These 9mm bullets are unusual in as much as they will not work in most types of Western handgun. They are a slightly different size and can only be fired using a Makarov type gun.
A Makarov gun which police believed was used for the hit
“This type of weapon and ammunition are extremely rare in Northern Ireland. We have a photo of a Makarov type 9mm handgun which we are issuing. Someone knows about this weapon and its ammunition. We need people with information to come forward on the non-emergency police number 101.
“The gunman is described by witnesses as being about five ft six ins tall and was wearing a dark hooded rain jacket. He made his escape from the scene up an alleyway towards Stanfield Place. We need to know where he went next. We are also issuing a photo of a similar type jacket in the hope this may jog someone's memory."
A jacket similar to the one worn by the hitman
The detective also said that the hitman had been in the area for a time prior to the killing.
He said: “We also believe the gunman may have been in the area some time before the shooting. A man fitting a similar description was seen standing at the junction of Welsh Street and McAuley Street at around 8.40am.
"A similar man was also seen with a red and white carrier bag, holding it with two hands on Welsh Street.
"They may be different people and they may be innocent members of the public. Either way, we need them to come forward so that they can be ruled out of our enquiries.
“Although the Markets is a residential area, it is very close to the city centre of Belfast and many people park cars there before walking to work."
Since the murder of Davison, the PSNI have focused their appeal for information on the community in the Markets area.
After the murder, the Sunday World reported on how the hitman was paid £10,000 to carry out the hit, and how a woman who witnessed the broad-daylight murder is currently in hiding in fear for her life.
DS Geddis used Tuesday night's Crimewatch programme to reiterate the PSNI's push for people with information to come forward.
He said: "I would appeal again to anyone who parked a car in the Markets between 8-9am on Tuesday 5 May and then walked to work to contact detectives.”
“ We are appealing for anyone who has any information about the murder, or who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area in the days and weeks leading up to the murder to contact us. We need to get this gun off the streets, and apprehend the killer. ”