The shooting of Constable Stephen Paul Carroll, 48, took place near Lismore High School at Brownlow,on Monday 9th March . Google Earth for this location says ... "we are sorry e don't have imagery available for this location"
This is a brief review of what the various media have reported since about the killing.
Two incidents, one of "suspicious activity", another involving a broken window and an agitated lady were apparently received by Craigavon Police.
The Police hesitated 45 inutes before responding to the calls for help, in what is a notoriuos area for Republican activity.(90% of public housing in NI is based on segregation)
After he arrived on the scene (with two unnamed officers) For some reason he entered the rear of the vehicle.
Constable Carroll was shot through the rear window of his car (remarkably a soft top unmarked Skoda saloon see pic ) at about 2145 GMT on Monday (it was dark). Tthe police arrived in so-called 'soft skin' vehicles - as part of the peace process, police have tried (it is said) to limit the use of their fortified Land Rovers
The assassin was located some 200 yds away on a grassy meadow / field overlooking the cul-de-sac where the Carroll was located .
Carroll was shot by a single and fatal head shot.
There were reports of someone fleeing wearing a light coloured coat.
This event was ;
1. Well planned.
2. The assassin was an exceptional shot.
3. The exit route was evidently well planned and probably rehearsed.
This was a very professional hit, well executed... and has so far sucessfully avoided detection.
It is interesting to speculate that there is some similarity with the death of the last British soldier to be killed by the IRA L/Bdr Stephen Restorick killed by a single bullet at a checkpoint in Bessbrook, south Armagh, in February 1997 shot by Bernard McGinn, of Castleblayney, Co Monaghan with a Barratt 50 (12.57mm x 9mm NATO ammunition) Lite sniper rifle
McGinn also admitted to murdering Lance Bombardier Paul Garrett in South Armagh 1993 and former Ulster Defence Regiment soldier Thomas Johnston in 1978.
Mc Ginn Bernard McGinn received 3 life sentences for the murder of Lance Bombardier Stephen Restorick, he was also sentenced to a total of 490 years for a catalogue of terrorist offences including making the bombs destined for Canary Wharf, the Baltic Exchange and Hammersmith Bridge in London.
But under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement McGinn and his accomplices, who formed part of an IRA sniper unit, were freed under the early release scheme, all terrorist prisoners sentenced for crimes committed before the agreement were released by 28 July, 2000.
The SAS also arrestd Michael Caraher, of the South Armagh Brigade in 1997 and his Barrett sniper rifle was captured by British forces. He is said to have caused the death of 7 British soldiers and 2 police officers.
Are there still Barratt rifles out there ? ... there certainly is at least one very proficient marksman / sniper out there.
Many questions ... few answers so far.