A man has been shot dead near several schools in west Belfast.

It happened on Glen Road close to the St Mary’s Grammar and CBS schools shortly after 3pm.

It is understood the man was shot several times in the head and chest. The MP for the area said the victim was targeted as he collected a child from school.

He was found beside a Porsche car which had a shattered windscreen.

The shooting happened as children were leaving nearby schools and it was said to have been witnessed by pupils.

The scene is also close to St Teresa’s Primary School on Glen Road.

Police said only that they were dealing with an “incident” and said the area between the Monagh Bypass and Glen Road junction up to the Shaws Road and Glen Road junction is closed until further notice.

The Ambulance Service said it received a 999 call at 3.14pm following reports of an incident on Glen Road.

“Two paramedic officers and one rapid response paramedic were despatched to the incident.

“No-one was transported from the scene.”

 Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey has described it as a “disgraceful and horrific attack” and said the victim had been shot “while picking up a child from school”.

“It is deeply concerning that this killing was carried out in full view of hundreds of kids who were leaving school at the time.

“I unreservedly condemn this murder and my thoughts at this time are with the family and friends of the victim.”

He urged anyone with information to contact police.

SDLP councillor Tim Attwood said the victim was killed instantly.

“It is absolutely sickening that a gun was fired in the vicinity of both a primary and secondary school in west Belfast today,” he said.

“A number of pupils witnessed this fatality and are understandably very disturbed and frightened after this reckless act occurred nearby the school gates.

“There is absolutely no place for this in 2018; this madness belongs in the past and we cannot allow it to once again become our normality.

People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll said: “News that somebody has been shot several times on the Glen Road is horrible and deeply concerning and should be condemned by everybody.

“It is especially worrying given the amount of children and young people in the area at that time, that somebody sees fit to pull a gun and open fire in the middle of the day.”

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