Bradley Welsh, Trainspotting star, shot dead over ‘£130k of drugs’

Hunt for ‘baseball cap-wearing hitman’ who shot dead Trainspotting 2 star Bradley Welsh outside his Edinburgh flat over ‘£130,000 of missing drugs’

  •  Bradley Welsh, 48, was fatally shot on doorstep of Edinburgh flat on Wednesday 
  • Police say shooter was 20 to 30 years, 5ft 10ins to 6ft and wore a baseball cap 
  • Mr Welsh’s partner and daughter were at home in the flat when he was targeted
  • An underworld source claimed Mr Welsh had been acting as ‘muscle’ to protect 3kg of heroin and 2kg of cocaine and ‘had to answer’ when it disappeared

Police have released details of a suspect after Trainspotting 2 actor Bradley Welsh was shot dead on his doorstep.

The 48-year-old father was killed by a shot to the head as he walked down the stairs to his Edinburgh flat on Wednesday.

Detectives believe Mr Welsh was the victim of a targeted attack by a man who fled the scene on foot.

Bradley Welsh, 48, in his Holyrood Boxing Gym. He was killed on his own doorstep by a gunshot to the head on Wednesday

The Daily Star reported that an underworld source claimed Mr Welsh, 48, had been acting as ‘muscle’ to protect 3kg of heroin and 2kg of cocaine and ‘had to answer’ when the £130,000 worth of Class A drugs he was guarding went missing. 

Today police released details of a suspect who they understand made off along Walker Street following the shooting.

He is described as between 20 and 30 years of age, between 5ft 10ins and 6ft tall, with a slim build and tanned complexion.

He was wearing a baseball cap and was casually dressed.

Detective Superintendent Allan Burton said: ‘I want to once again convey my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Bradley Welsh and reiterate my commitment to bringing those responsible for his murder to justice.

‘Someone out there will know who committed this crime and I want you to search your conscience and do the right thing.

Police locked down Chester Street in Edinburgh Wednesday night after Welsh was shot in the head

Police forensics teams examine the scene where Welsh was gunned down by an unknown assailant 

Up to a dozen armed officers were called to the scene of the shooting. Police are appealing for help to trace the gunman

‘A family are grieving for the loss of their son, brother, partner and father and they need answers.

‘If you can help with this investigation then please contact us immediately.

‘I also want to emphasise to the communities of Edinburgh that this incident is being treated as a targeted attack and murders, especially those involving a firearm, remain extremely rare.

Welsh’s body is removed by a private ambulance on Thursday morning 

Forensics checking the scene of the shooting of Trainspotting 2 star Bradley Welsh outside of his family home in Edinburgh


Residents who live within the police cordon are being checked in and out of the taped-off area, but they say officers have told them nothing about what happened. Pictured: Floral tributes being laid 

‘The capital remains a safe place to live, work and visit and, while this investigation continues, uniformed officers will maintain a high-visibility presence in the Chester Street and the West End to offer reassurance and engage with local residents and business staff.’  

Police were called to Chester Street in the west end of the city at approximately 8pm after multiple reports of a gunshot. 

His partner and young daughter were inside the building but did not hear the gunshot. A neighbour attempted to help the fatally wounded Welsh but he died at the scene. 

Forensics walk by floral tributes left at the scene of the shooting of Trainspotting 2 star Bradley Welsh on Chester Street in Edinburgh, Scotland

Chief Inspector David Robertson (left), and his colleague Detective Superintendent Allan Burton, speaking to the media near the scene of the shooting of Trainspotting 2 star Bradley Welsh

Last night an underworld source said: ‘It’s not that he was in debt but the drugs had been lost and they were his responsibility.’ the Star reported.

Irvine Welsh, who wrote Trainspotting, said his ‘heart was broken’ by the death of his friend 

‘If it goes missing you pay, simple as.

‘He was the deal’s muscle and had a lot of respect but somebody had had enough.

‘These gangs are ruthless – they don’t care who you are. If something goes wrong then someone has to pay.’

As well as appearing on film he was involved in charity projects in Edinburgh, including helping young people to stay away from a life of crime through his Holyrood Boxing Gym.  

Detective superintendent, Allan Burton said: ‘At about 8pm (Wednesday) Bradley Welsh, a 48-year-old local resident, was returning home from training at the gym.

‘He 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.

‘To give people reassurance, we believe it’s a targeted attack on Mr Welsh and that nobody else in the community is at threat from the shooter and we have no expectations of them returning.

Author Irvine Welsh also paid tribute his close friend, tweeting: ‘Bradley John Welsh, my heart is broken’

Scottish Folk/rock group The Proclaimers also took to Twitter to pay their respects

‘We know he was out and training at his gym late afternoon, early evening.

‘He got out of the car and spoke to his neighbour and he walked to his home address and as he started walking down the steps to his basement apartment, a male appeared and shot him at the top of the steps.

‘A neighbour tried to render first aid but unfortunately he was already deceased due to the extent of the injuries. 

Danny Dyer (left) took to Instagram to pay tribute to Bradley Welsh (right) writing: ‘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.’ 

Dyer paid tribute to him on Wednesday, writing 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’

‘At this moment, I have no idea why they wanted to hurt him. But we will establish that over the coming days. The family are devastated as you can imagine.

‘A partner has lost her soul mate, her friend. A child has lost their dad. They are devastated.’

He added: ‘Mr Welsh’s partner and young daughter were in the house at the time when this took place.

Siobhan Hunter, defender at Hibernian Ladies football club in Edinburgh wrote of her experience with Mr Welsh. She wrote: ‘Hardest session & one of the most enjoyable, taken by a guy who built everything himself and worked for it. Taught our team a good lesson, to work hard and always want more from each other. A guy I respected when taking the session and was very interesting. RIP! #BradleyWelsh.’

‘Thankfully they were unaware – they never heard the bang, if you like.’

He added: ‘When the police arrived, that’s when the knowledge and horrors of losing Bradley to them had become real.

‘Their whole world has been turned upside down by the actions of an individual last night.’ 

In a plea for witnesses, Mr Burton called for people who ‘have got any information, or have heard any rumours or speculation, or know someone who’s acting differently after the events of last night and are suspicious of this individual – please come forward’.

Former professional boxer Bradley Welsh in his boxing gym, Europe’s largest, with seven boxing rings, 160 bags and a sprint running track – in the middle of Edinburgh

Welsh became involved in charity projects in Edinburgh, including helping young people stay away from a life of crime through his Holyrood Boxing Gym (where he is pictured) 

Dozens of forensics officers were searching Chester Street and neighbouring roads within the large police cordon in the belief that the attacker may have dropped something while waiting for Mr Welsh to get home.

Mr Burton added: ‘We’ll be looking to see if anything has been dropped, discarded, someone’s been standing by waiting for Mr Welsh to return.

‘Any cigarette butts, cans, etc could indicate the presence of any individual.

‘We will be conducting a fingerprint examination of the railings and premises and fixed furniture round about the entrance to the apartment, looking for fingerprints and DNA.

‘We’ll be doing a full forensic examination of Mr Welsh’s apartment to see if there’s anything in the flat that might give us an indication of the motivation and why he has been targeted.’

An anonymous ex high-ranking officer told The Mirror Mr Welsh was ‘a guy you’d call a ken-speckled character’ who had a ‘few enemies’.

A friend of Mr Welsh who went to the scene to pay his respects, said his pal had ‘got away’ from his past.

William McCallum said: ‘To tell you the truth, I’m just heartbroken. His mum stayed around the corner from my mum. Brad did a lot for Edinburgh, a lot for the community centre.

A floral tribute wrapped in a green and white scarf – the colours of Hibs Football Club – lay at the edge of the cordon

Tributes to Former boxer and Trainspotting T2 actor Bradley Welsh who died after being shot near his home Bradley Welsh killed in Edinburgh shooting

‘Where does amateur boxing go from here?

Brad had a past when he was younger but he got away from all that. Brad only wanted to do well for his community.’

Mr Welsh – who was engaged to be married at the time he was killed and had a young daughter, Eva Tiger – spoke to a newspaper about his teenage years becoming involved in protection rackets before a spell in prison.

Dyer paid tribute to him on Wednesday, writing 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.’

In an interview with the Edinburgh Evening News on April 13, Welsh recalled how jail time had made him realise being behind bars ‘was for imbeciles’ and said boxing had been his ‘way out of the ghetto’.

But the 42-year-old admitted his past was never far away, saying: ‘It’s always with me but I don’t have to atone myself for anybody.

‘The things I did, they were wrong, but I understand why I did them, because I had f**k all.

Welsh with former Celtic Football Club manager Neil Lennon in a social media photo 

‘Of course, I regret them. I have a daughter and a wee boy who is like a son to me, and I want a better society. That’s why I do what I do.’

Welsh starred alongside Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle in T2 Trainspotting, playing gangland figure Mr Doyle.

Author Irvine Welsh led tributes to his close friend on Wednesday, tweeting: ‘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.’

Paramedics battled to save Welsh but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Welsh appeared in Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men in 2008, where he described himself as a ‘born leader’ in the episode.

The actor later became involved in charity projects in Edinburgh, including helping young people to stay away from a life of crime through his Holyrood Boxing Gym.

He was reportedly a former British ABA Lightweight boxing champion.

Fraser Walker, chief operating officer of Boxing Scotland, said: ‘The Boxing Scotland family is extremely shocked and saddened by the sudden and tragic passing of Bradley.

Bradley played Mr Doyle, a Sauna (Brothel) owner, in Trainspotting 2 in 2017

‘He was one of a kind and will be sadly missed. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to Bradley’s family at this extremely difficult time.’

Other people also paid tribute on social media, with one woman posting a picture of herself and friends alongside Welsh in a boxing ring.

She said: ‘You to me are treasure, you to me are dear. Our coach, our motivator but most importantly our friend, Brad Welsh.’

One man described Welsh as a ‘huge character’ in Edinburgh.

He said: ‘Devastating news about Brad Welsh tonight, a huge character in Scottish amateur boxing and the Hibernian support and someone who contributed a great deal to society through his charitable work and boxing gym. RIP.’

 

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