The police are looking for two men in connection with the coldblooded murder of car dealer Raymond Agius, 49, of Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, at the Butterfly Bar in Birkirkara yesterday morning.
Two men wearing crash helmets and who arrived on a motorcycle at about 9.15, entered the bar and went straight for the victim; one of them firing a pistol hitting him in the head.
More than one shot may have been fired, sources said.
The two then made a quick getaway on the motorcycle.
Mr Agius, who is originally from Żebbuġ, fell to the floor in a pool of blood. He was rushed to Mater Dei Hospital but died soon after arrival. A post mortem examination will be held today.
Also slightly injured in the shooting was John Giordmaina, another car dealer, who was with Mr Agius. The sources said Mr Giordmaina was probably hit by a flying splinter, injuring him superficially.
Mr Agius, who was married and the father of two boys, was known by many as he was involved in various business activities including dealing in second-hand cars, owning a showroom in Żebbuġ. He was also an importer of various goods and a property dealer.
Sources close to the police said it seemed the attackers had targeted Mr Agius, possibly even having waited for his arrival at the bar where clients said he was a regular. This theory is backed by the fact that the assailants went straight for the victim.
Policemen and forensic experts, including ballistics expert Brigadier Maurice Calleja, were called to the scene of the crime which was cordoned off by the police.
A Ford van, which was found parked near the Butterfly Bar after the shooting, was towed away by the police for further investigations. The sources said the vehicle belonged to the victim.
Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera conducted an onsite inquiry. A team of court experts was appointed to help her in the inquiry. Apart from Brig. Calleja, the team includes architect Robert Musumeci, forensic pathologist Mario Scerri and forensic expert Anthony Abela Medici.
Police investigations, which yesterday concentrated on tracing the killer and his accomplice and establishing the motive for the murder, are being conducted by Superintendent Neville Aquilina, Inspectors Silvio Valletta and Jeffrey Cilia from the Criminal Investigation Department and Inspector Kevin Farrugia from the Birkirkara District.
The Butterfly Bar is situated at a corner at the end of Fleur-de-Lys Street close to the bus terminus, known as L-Istazzjon. The area was the scene of another murder on Carnival Monday - February 25, 1963.
That time Ċikku Laus, 40, was killed in front of Paul's Restaurant, which was probably situated across the street from the Butterfly Bar.
The murder, recorded in the book by police historian Eddie Attard Delitti f'Malta followed an argument between Mr Laus and Fredu Xuereb, 23. During a fight that ensued, Mr Xuereb hit the victim with a broken glass in the neck.
Mr Xuereb was jailed for 18 years.
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