A reformed gangster who portrayed a character in the film “Trainspotting 2” has been shot to death.
Bradley Welsh, 48, was killed outside his home in Edinburgh, Scotland, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, according to the BBC.
A resident cited by the news outlet said Welsh, who also starred in an episode of “Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men,” had been shot in the head.
Police said they are investigating Welsh’s death as a homicide.
“His death is being treated as suspicious and inquiries are continuing,” police said in a statement provided to CNN.
— CNN (@CNN) April 18, 2019
Detectives said preliminary findings in the investigation suggested Welsh’s killing was an isolated attack.
Local resident Alasdair Morton wrote on Twitter that police had sealed off the area as a victim had suffered a “gunshot wound to the head.”
Morton wrote: “I initially thought it was a police escort then when I had a look there must have been a dozen or so police with guns pushing the traffic back.”
“We’ve not been told anything but police waved through some ambulances.
“They said ‘there’s a gunshot wound to the head somewhere.’ We could still hear noises that suggested there was a situation still going on.”
Armed police all over Chester street. Road closed off. We have been told to go inside. Before doing so we heard the police say to the National incident response unit – gunshot would to the head @BBCScotlandNews @edinburghpaper @TheScotsman
— Alasdair Morton (@MortonAlasdair) April 17, 2019
The BBC cited an unidentified woman who said she was in an apartment across the street from the incident when she heard a “massive bang.”
“I was in the kitchen and heard a bang,” she said. “I ran through to my boyfriend and said ‘what was that?’ because it sounded a little bit weird.
“Then there were loads of SWAT teams—the police were here super-quick.”
— Edinburgh News (@edinburghpaper) April 17, 2019
‘A Significant Inquiry’
Detective superintendent Allan Burton, from Police Scotland’s major investigation team, was cited by the BBC as saying: “At this time our deepest sympathies are with this man’s family and a significant inquiry is now underway to trace everyone who was involved in the murder.
“I would ask that anyone who was within Chester Street, or the west end of Edinburgh on Wednesday evening, and who saw anyone, or anything suspicious, to contact the police immediately.
“Part of this investigation will focus on obtaining CCTV from nearby homes and businesses and we would also urge any motorists who were in the area and may have relevant dashcam footage to share this with us.”
He added: “Murders remain extremely rare in the capital, and such incidents where a firearm is used are even more uncommon.”
Burton was further cited by The Daily Mail as saying that on the night of his murder, Welsh “got out of his car, he had walked to his home address and as he was about to climb down the stairs a person appeared and shot him and killed him.”
Welsh starred alongside Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, and Robert Carlyle in “T2 Trainspotting.” In the film, Welsh played the figure Mr. Doyle.
Welsh, a reformed criminal, was reported by The Independent as having tried out for the role after meeting the film’s director Danny Boyle at his gym.
In a January 2017 interview cited by The Independent, Welsh said: “A long time ago I had a criminal past as a young football hooligan. I then went to prison for extortion and firearms and all that stuff. But for the last 20 years, I’ve run boxing gyms and organized big charity events in Edinburgh.”
— Edinburgh News (@edinburghpaper) April 17, 2019
Welsh was once an amateur British lightweight boxing champion. He later helped young people stay fit and out of trouble through his Holyrood Boxing Gym.
Bradley Welsh was a charity worker. His boxing gym revolved around social inclusion. He was behind a food bank, and schemes to provide free bikes and football to kids. He was worth so much more than headlines like this. pic.twitter.com/LCypUJAF8Q
— Katharine KK Kennedy (@kthrnkennedy) April 18, 2019
Tributes have poured in for the slain actor and activist.
“Trainspotting” writer Irvine Welsh took to Twitter to pay tribute to “his beautiful friend.”
He wrote: “Bradley John Welsh, my heart is broken. Goodbye my amazing and beautiful friend. Thanks for making me a better person and helping me to see the world in a kinder and wiser way.”
Bradley John Welsh, my heart is broken. Goodbye my amazing and beautiful friend. Thanks for making me a better person and helping me to see the world in a kinder and wiser way. 💚 pic.twitter.com/3duKqBxvxO
— Irvine Welsh (@IrvineWelsh) April 18, 2019
Danny Dyer, who had Welsh on his show in 2008, wrote on Instagram: “So sad to hear the news about Bradley Welsh. A good soul with a massive heart. A massive loss. Rest in Peace my old son.”
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Chief inspector David Robertson, local area commander for Edinburgh city centre, was cited by the BBC as saying: “We recognize and understand the profound impact this incident will have had, both on those connected to the victim and to the local community of the west end.
“There will naturally be a high officer presence in the area over the forthcoming days both to offer reassurance and gather any relevant information that may be of use to the inquiry.”