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Owner of Gun Used to Kill Queer Journalist Lyra McKee Jailed

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A man has pleaded guilty to possession of the pistol that killed queer journalist Lyra McKee.Derry resident Niall Sheerin, 29, has been sentenced to seven years in prison for possessing the firearm used to shoot and kill McKee during the 2019 riots in Derry, Northern Ireland, according to the Guardian.McKee had been working as an independent reporter covering the violence.Sheerin admitted to authorities that he had the gun from September 2018 until June 2020.

McKee was shot dead on April 18, 2019, while reporting on the riots in the Creggan area of Derry.The pistol used in the shooting was later found abandoned in plastic bags behind a telephone pole, the BBC reports.

Ballistics testing revealed the same gun was used in five separate shootings within the past two years, McKee’s being the latest.The New Irish Republican Army later took responsibility for McKee’s death, saying that they deployed their militia members in response to British forces in the area.

As the majority of their organization are combat-inexperienced volunteers, Mckee was killed in the crossfire when standing near “enemy forces.” The Irish Times reported at the time that the New IRA said in a statement: “In the course of attacking the enemy Lyra McKee was tragically killed while standing beside enemy forces.

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