How Did Lyra McKee Die? New Details About The Journalist Shot Dead In Derry

She was just 29 years old.

How Did Lyra McKee Die? New Details About The Journalist Shot Dead In Derry getty

Being a journalist can be one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. When you travel to countries where there is civil unrest, or violence occurring daily, you hope that you make it back alive. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough. And such is the case with Lyra McKee, who died on April 18th.

But how did Lyra McKee die? The journalist was in Derry, located in Northern Ireland, where violence broke out after police raids on “dissidents with the aim of seizing munitions ahead of the Easter Rising commemorative parades due to take place in the area that weekend.”


McKee sustained gunshot wounds from a gunman who fired shots amidst the riots.

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These riots are occurring because Republicans in Northern Ireland want the country to break from the UK and join the Republic of Ireland. Police searched the area, expecting bombs and explosives. But these searches led to riots, in which protestors threw explosives at police officers and even set fire to two of their vehicles. McKee was reporting on the raids and riots at the time.



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Shortly before being shot, McKee tweeted a picture of the riots, captioning it “Derry tonight. Absolute madness.” Two arrests have been made in connection with her death. In a statement from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said, “This morning we arrested two teenagers, aged 18 and 19, under the Terrorism Act and conducted a number of searches as part of the ongoing investigation into Lyra’s murder.” However, the suspects have since been released without charges.

Though McKee had been covering the conflict for some time, and called herself a “ceasefire baby” — someone who was too young to remember the terror of the Troubles in Northern Ireland — she was also a gifted journalist. She had recently signed a book deal, and gained momentum after a 2014 piece called “A letter to my 14-year-old self,” which discussed her difficulties identifying as an LGBTQ youth in Ireland, was published.

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Forbes also named her on their “30 Under 30 Europe” list, saying, “McKee’s passion is to dig into topics that others don’t care about. [She] has crowd-funded money to finance research for her first book about the murder of a Northern Ireland politician that dates back more than 30 years. She also writes for a number of publications, such as Mosaic Science and has won a Sky News Young Journalist Award.”



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A statement from her partner, Sara Canning, is a reminder to keep McKee’s voice and spirit alive:

“The senseless murder of Lyra McKee has left a family without a beloved daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a great aunt; has left so many friends without their confidant, victims in the LGBTQIA community without a tireless advocate and activist, and it’s left me without the love of my life; the woman that I was planning to grow old with... Our hopes and dreams, all of her amazing potential was snuffed out by a single barbaric act. This cannot stand. Her legacy will live on in the light that she’s left behind.”

McKee was planning to propose to Canning two weeks after her stay in Northern Ireland, and had planned a trip to New York City. Sadly, those plans will never come to fruition, and the world will continue to mourn this great loss.


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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.