A Northern Ireland prison officer was gunned down on his way to a wake today in an apparent ambush by dissident republicans.
Police said a car with Dublin licence plates fired a number of shots at 52-year-old David Black's vehicle, causing him to veer into a ditch off the M1 motorway.
The attackers' car was later found burned out in nearby dissident republican stronghold Lurgan. No group had claimed responsibility for the attack as the Star went to press.
Politicians from across the political spectrum lined up to condemn the killing and pledge that it wouldn't derail the peace process.
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness condemned the murder "in the strongest possible terms" in a joint statement.
They added: "Actions like this have no place in society and those who carried out this murder have nothing positive to contribute. We refuse to let the people behind this attack divert us from building a better and peaceful future for everyone."
SDPL deputy leader Dolores Kelly said the killing was "reminiscent of the worst moments of the last 40 years.
"It is essential that the police are permitted to do their job in conducting a swift, thorough, accurate and productive investigation to bring those responsible to justice, and to that end I would call on everyone to keep calm and give what assistance they can," she said.
Mr Black is the 30th prison officer to be killed in Northern Ireland since 1974 and the first since Jim Peacock was shot by loyalist paramilitaries in 1993.
Prison Officers Association general secretary Steve Gillan told the Star that the union's thoughts and prayers were with his family.
And he demanded an inquiry into why the security accorded to prison officers has been gradually eroded "due to budget cuts."
Mr Black worked at Maghaberry Prison where more than 40 IRA inmates have been waging a dirty protest for more than a year against strip searches and demanding political status.