Reavey and O'Dowd Killings - Shootings

Shootings

At about 6.10 p.m., three masked men entered a Catholic-owned house in Whitecross, by the key that had accidentally been left in the front door. One of the men was armed with a machine gun. Once inside they shot brothers John (24), Brian (22) and Anthony (17) Reavey. After searching the house and finding no-one else, the gunmen left. John and Brian were killed outright, but Anthony survived and sought help at a neighbour's house. He died of a brain hemorrhage on 30 January. Although the pathologist said that the shooting played no part in his death, Anthony is listed as a Troubles-related death. Neighbours claimed that there had been two Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) checkpoints set up—one at either end of the road—around the time that the attack took place. These checkpoints would have stopped passers-by seeing what was happening. The RUC denied having patrols in the area at the time, but said that there could have been checkpoints manned by the British Army's Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR).

At about 6.30 p.m., three masked men entered another Catholic-owned house in Ballydougan, about twenty miles away. Sixteen family members were in the house at the time as part of a celebration. They shot dead Joseph O'Dowd (61) and his nephews Barry (24) and Declan (19) O'Dowd. All three were members of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and the family believe this is why they were targeted. Barney O'Dowd (Barry and Declan's father) was also wounded by gunfire. The RUC concluded that the weapon used was a 9mm submachine gun, although Barney claimed that a Luger pistol with a suppressor was also used. It is highly likely the gunmen had crossed a field to get to the house, and there is evidence that UDR soldiers had been in the field the day before.

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