DEADLY HIT Police believe gangster Mark Hall's killers arrived to murder scene in fake silver taxi
Police confirmed they are still investigating the line of inquiry that Hall's murder was connected to his close relationship to pal Warren Crossan
Police believe the killers of criminal Mark Hall in Belfast before Christmas arrived to the murder scene in a fake silver taxi, the Sunday World can reveal.
And the two gunmen narrowly missed Hall's sister as a bullet passed through her handbag after they opened fire on his family's home.
The Belfast man was shot seven times as he sat in the living room of his mother's house in the St James' area of the city on the afternoon of Saturday, December 18.
Police yesterday confirmed they are still investigating the line of inquiry that Hall's murder was connected to his close relationship to criminal pal Warren Crossan.
Yesterday evening the PSNI returned to the area in a bid to jog people's memories about the brutal assassination, handing out leaflets to motorists.
After shooting the father of one, who was expecting to become a father again for the second time, they made their escape on foot into the warren of streets of the west Belfast housing area.
The two gunmen were wearing dark clothing with coat hoods pulled over their faces. However, even in these Covid times, police say this would have appeared suspicious.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil McGuinness said: "This was a callous and targeted attack which has left a whole community in shock.
"We believe that the two gunmen arrived in the St James' area in a silver saloon car which had a taxi sign affixed to its roof. Both gunmen were wearing all dark clothing with coat hoods pulled over their faces.
"I am appealing to anyone who was in the Rodney Drive area and who witnessed any suspicious activity, or who may have captured dash cam footage, to contact us.
I know that there were numerous people in the St James' area around 4.30pm on Saturday, 18 December. I need to identify and speak to those people to establish a full picture of movement in the area around the time of the murder and to see if they hold crucial witness evidence."
Describing events on the day of the murder, the police chief said: "Two gunmen approached his family home in Rodney Drive shortly after 4.30pm and fired a number of shots through the front window, striking and wounding Mark.
"He was taken to hospital, but sadly later died.
"This tragic event took place five weeks ago, that's one week before Christmas. It has left Mark's partner bereft, and his young daughter without a father.
"The whole family are, understandably, struggling to come to terms with the shock and unspeakable heartache.
"Some family members were present in the room when the shots were fired and, as the gunmen made off, a shot narrowly missed Mark's sister, passing through her handbag. The gunmen were absolutely reckless in firing shots into a room with other family members.
"One life has been taken and, without doubt, others could easily have been lost too. I'm referring to Mark's sister, to the other family members, and to local people.
"This happened in a busy residential area at a time when people would have been out and about, going about their business, and no doubt getting ready for what should have been a happy Christmas."
A PSNI spokesperson told Sunday World: "Detectives are following up various lines of inquiry in relation to this murder. A potential link to the murder of Warren Crossan is one line of inquiry."
In the wake of Mr Hall's tragic death the Sunday World revealed he had been targeted because of his vow to revenge his close friend Warren Crossan's murder in stark and similar circumstances.
Crossan was shot dead as he too visited his mother in the St James' area in June last year. Two gunmen fled the scene on foot.
Crossan (28) was previously arrested and questioned about the murder of Dublin gangland serial killer Robbie Lawlor.
Police are encouraging people to come forward amid fears the brutality of the murder has made potential witness fearful of contacting detectives.
"You can contact detectives on 101; or you can submit information - photos, videos or footage - using our Major Incident Public Portal.
"If anyone has information, I would ask you to search your conscience and come forward. This can also be done with 100 per cent anonymity via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org."
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