Butler Place, Belfast
Butler Place where father of four Michael McGibbon was shot three times. He later died from his injuriesGoogle Streetview

A father of four was "brutally and callously" murdered in a Belfast alleyway late Friday night in a killing that "bears all the hallmarks of a paramilitary murder", police said. Michael McGibbon was shot three times in the leg and although he was taken to hospital, he later died from his injuries, according to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

"Michael was brutally and callously shot a number of times in the leg in an alleyway," on Butler Place, in North Belfast said a PSNI spokesperson.

He added that "despite the best efforts of his wife Joanne to save his life immediately after the attack, she was unable to save him".

The 33-year-old father of four "tragically passed away following emergency surgery at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital," he said. "What happened in that alleyway last night robbed a family of a treasured husband and father."

McGibbon, a taxi driver who was "well known to the local community", lived near the place where he was killed, Detective McVea said.

"He was a man with no criminal record, no apparent criminal connections or associations and today we are talking about his murder," he said.

He added: "This killing bears all the hallmarks of a paramilitary murder. Those who carried it out have no legitimacy in this community and today I am asking the community to help us find them. Help us bring justice to the McGibbon family.

His death was condemned by local politicians including Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly, who said the killing had "shocked the local community".

He said: "This is the second such killing carried out in this area in the last six months by an armed gang which is clearly at war with the local community."

Nichola Mallon, the SDLP councillor for North Belfast, added that the local community had been left "reeling" by the brutal killing.

"North Belfast has shouldered this kind of savagery in the past," she said. "There can be no justification for it. It was wrong then and it is wrong today."