Appeal on mistaken identity murder

The cousin of a father of two who was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity has appealed for witnesses to help police catch his "mindless" killer.

Detectives believe Marlon O'Reilly was gunned down because he was wearing a similar T-shirt to the intended target of the shooting at a Birmingham pub.

Speaking at a police press conference, the victim's cousin, Hayley O'Reilly, said the 33-year-old's death had left his family and friends devastated.

Miss O'Reilly, 29, told reporters: "Marlon will be sorely missed. The chasm left in our hearts is immeasurable as this person who meant so much to us and brought so much fun, laughter and happiness has been taken away in such a brutal fashion.

"We thank everyone for their condolences and hope justice will be served to whoever is responsible for this callous act. The person who did this did it mindlessly. They were after somebody who was wearing the same T-shirt as Marlon and that's why Marlon was murdered. It was a mindless act and the person needs to be brought to justice."

Mr O'Reilly, who was studying graphic design, was pronounced dead at the Dovecote pub in Cockshut Hill after a gunman opened fire at about 5.45pm on Friday.

The offender, described as a well-built white man wearing blue clothing, fled from the scene on a high-powered motorbike.

Miss O'Reilly, who described her cousin as a loving father, son and brother, was flanked at the news conference at West Midlands Police headquarters by her partner, Aaron Days, and Chief Superintendent Alex Murray.

Mr Murray, the policing commander for East Birmingham, revealed that the shooting was thought to be linked to a serious assault at a gym in the Sheldon area of Birmingham earlier on Friday. He confirmed that officers believe the killer targeted Mr O'Reilly by mistake.

Anyone with information which could assist the investigation is asked to contact police on 101 or the independent Crimestoppers charity, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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