Gay Journalist Shot Dead During Riots in Northern Ireland

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On Thursday night the 29-year-old became what is believed to be the first journalist killed in the United Kingdom in the line of duty since Martin O'Hagan was shot in 2001 in Lurgan, County Armagh.

Petrol bombs were thrown and images from the scene show vehicles alight and others burnt out. The New IRA group, which has been responsible for several attacks in recent years, was most likely behind the killing, Assistant Chief Constable Hamilton said.

Her last tweet while reporting on the riot: "Derry tonight".

The New IRA is a small group who reject the 1998 Good Friday agreement that marked the Irish Republican Army's embrace of a political solution to the long-running violence known as "The Troubles" that claimed more than 3,700 lives.

Police have attributed McKee's killing to members of the New IRA, which formed in 2012 in what the Guardian characterizes as a merger of dissident republican groups.

Leona O'Neill, a local journalist at the scene of the shooting, said that after McKee was hit and fell beside a police Land Rover, officers rushed her to Altnagelvin Hospital, where she died.

"Our hopes and dreams and all of her wonderful potential was snuffed out by this single barbaric act", she said. I knew Lyra McKee very well, I was one of her media lecturers as part of the Headliners project some years ago and we have been in regular contact since then.

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Police have released a CCTV image of the gunman who opened fire on police in Derry last night, killing 29-years-old Lyra McKee.

Police said they did not believe she was working at the time of the attack. "Her legacy will live on in the light that she has left behind", she added.

In the video, a figure near the gunman appears to crouch and pick something up from the spot where the shots were fired, seemingly confirming detectives' theory that more than one person was involved. The city was the scene of a auto bombing in January, in a suspected attack by the New IRA.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May called McKee's death "shocking and truly senseless", and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was "a reminder of the vital importance of protecting the Good Friday Agreement and Northern Ireland peace process".

Thursday's unrest raised memories of past decades of violence in Northern Ireland. Lyra was a bright, intelligent and articulate writer with a witty, warm and fun loving personality and her murder has sent shock waves among the entire community.

"Our thoughts today are with Lyra's family, partner, friends and everyone across Northern Ireland society who will be feeling this loss".

In the post, she described the shame she felt at 14 as she kept the "secret" of her sexual preference from her family and friends and the love she received when she was finally able to reveal it.

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