Lyra McKee, a 29-year-old journalist who wrote for publications like The Atlantic and BuzzFeed, was killed in the middle of rioting in Derry, Northern Ireland, according to BuzzFeed.
McKee posted a photo from the scene hours before her death. Her Twitter account has been locked since her death was confirmed.
Journalists around the world mourned the death of the young investigative journalist, who wrote about Irish politics, LGBTQ issues, and more.
McKee had recently landed a book deal with Faber & Faber UK. The book, to be called The Lost Boys, intended to explore the disappearances of young men during the Troubles in Belfast in the ‘60s and ‘70s. McKee also published a story in 2014 about her experience of growing up gay in Belfast, which was adapted into a short film, and published a novella, Angels With Blue Faces.
“Sadly I can confirm that following shots being fired tonight in Creggan, a 29 year old woman has been killed,” Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said on Twitter. “We are treating this as a terrorist incident and we have launched a murder enquiry.”
Police suspect the republican group the New IRA—one of several armed groups in Northern Ireland which reject the decades-long peace settlement between unionists and republicans on the island—to be behind McKee’s death.
The Guardian reported that dissident republican circles have started issuing their own explanations:
Saoradh, a fringe political party that reflects New IRA thinking, said blame for the events of Thursday evening lay “squarely at the feet of the British crown forces”. It added: “A republican volunteer attempted to defend people from the PSNI/RUC. Tragically a young journalist covering the events, Lyra McKee, was killed accidentally.”
Leaders of mainstream political parties in Northern Ireland condemned the killing in a joint statement, saying, “We are united in rejecting those responsible for this heinous crime.”