Dissident republican who was one of chief suspects in Lawlor murder aware of threat on life before being gunned down
ONE of the chief suspects in the murder of psycho Robbie Lawlor was shot dead yesterday in broad daylight.
Dissident republican Warren Crossan — who was aware of a threat on his life — was gunned down in West Belfast.
Warren, son of prominent republican Tommy Crossan who was murdered in Belfast in 2014, was suspected of supplying cars in the murder of Lawlor.
But the Irish Sun can reveal he was being treated as one of the main suspects in the killing of hitman Lawlor after cops established he was in the Ardyone area at the time.
Lawlor — a suspect in at least five murders — met his fate in the city on April 4 after being double crossed by the McCarthy/Dundon mob.
Crossan, in his 20s, had close links to the Limerick gang.
We can also reveal Crossan was working closely with Lawlor in the drugs trade before he turned on the Drogheda feud mobster.
A theory being explored by investigators is that Crossan may have been targeted by Lawlor’s associates in revenge for the his murder.
But he had also been under threat from drug gangs and loyalist terror mobs in the North.
A source said: “Crossan had a lot of enemies and it’s possible associates of lawlor’s had him targeted in revenge for the lawlor hit.
“He had arranged for Lawlor to come to Belfast. He owed Lawlor money and then they double crossed him.
“His car was outside the house where Lawlor was murdered earlier that day and was seized the following day by the PSNI.
“Lawlor’s associates could have paid a gang to take Crossan out and it could all come down to money.
“The PSNI will have to look at this inquiry because of his links to the Lawlor murder.”
Detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team launched a murder probe last night.
Police said they received reports that a man was shot a number of times and he was later pronounced dead at hospital.
Detective Chief Inspector Darren McCartney said: “I have launched a murder investigation following the fatal shooting of a man in his late 20s this afternoon. I believe the man was chased from the junction of Rodney Parade and St James’s Road along Rodney Parade by two masked gunmen before he was shot a number of times at close range in St Katharines Road. This was a brutal murder and the brazen recklessness of the killers completely beggars belief.
“They did not give any thought to the risk posed to local people in this community who were going about their business at lunchtime when they ran through the streets firing shots. Nor did they care who may have been collateral damage in this highly populated residential area during their mission to kill.
“My thoughts are very much with the family of the victim who are tonight in a state of shock and grieving for their loved one. No family should ever have to go through this heartbreak.
“It is too early to speculate on the motive for this callous murder and over coming days I will be working to piece together all the information and evidence.”
He added: “I know the community is in shock but I would appeal to anyone who has information about this appalling murder to bring that forward to the police so that we can remove these dangerous gunmen from the streets.
“I would like to hear from anyone who saw the victim being chased by the two gunmen in the Rodney Drive, St James’s Road, Rodney Parade and St Katharines Road areas before and after the shooting.
“I am aware the area was busy with pedestrians and motorists so I am asking anyone who may have captured any footage of the incident to please make that available to us also.
“Please call detectives with any information on 101.”
Police believe that Lawlor’s enemies in the Drogheda feud paid the McCarthy/Dundon gang €100,000 to arrange the psycho’s killing by persuading him to travel north to collect a debt from a Belfast drug dealer.