The death of Trainspotting 2 star Bradley Welsh may have been related the criminal underworld in Edinburgh.
It has been claimed that a £130,000 batch of heroin and cocaine that he had been guarding had vanished and he ‘had to answer’ when it disappeared.
A source said: ‘It’s not that he was in debt but the drugs had been lost and they were his responsibility. 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.’
They added to the Daily Star: ‘These gangs are ruthless – they don’t care who you are. If something goes wrong then someone has to pay.’
Police confirmed that it is likely to have been a targeted attack and have launched a murder investigation into Welsh’s death.
Police were called to Chester Street in the west end of the city at approximately 8pm after multiple reports of a gunshot.
A neighbour who heard the gunshot found Mr Welsh, 48, fatally wounded outside his flat but it was only once police arrived that his family learned of his ‘horrific death’.
Detective Superintendent Allan Burton from the major investigation team said: ‘We have a lady who’s lost a partner, a child who’s lost a dad, a family who have lost a son and brother.
And so, for their sake, and the sake of everybody else in this community, please come forward and help us find the person responsible for this horrific death.
‘Mr Welsh’s partner and young daughter were in the house at the time when this took place.
‘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.
‘They are devastated. We will support them as best we can, with specially trained family liaison officers, and we’ll continue to do that over the coming weeks and months in preparation for any future trial.
‘But it’s not sinking in just yet, it’s going to take time.
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’.
Dozens of forensics officers were searching Chester Street and neighbouring roads within the large police cordon.
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.’
Welsh starred alongside Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle in T2 Trainspotting, playing gangland figure Mr Doyle.
He also appeared in an episode of Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men in 2008.
Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting, tweeted: ‘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.’
Mr Welsh was also involved in charity projects in Edinburgh, including helping young people to stay away from a life of crime through his Holyrood Boxing Gym.
Bunches of flowers, cards, teddy bears and football scarves in the colours of Mr Welsh’s beloved Hibernian were laid at the edge of the police cordon by friends and family.
Builder Morgan Currie, 20, visited the scene of the shooting and said: ‘I knew him through his charity work.
‘He was a gentleman every time I saw him, no matter what and with anybody. With all the charity work, with all the amazing stuff for homeless people, he was just a true gentleman.
‘He just kept his head down, looking after his kids and his fiance. He’s a family man and just loved doing his charity work.
‘When I heard about it this morning I got a fright, I was like “oh my God”. It’s not sunk in yet.’
The shooting has had a ‘profound impact’, according to Chief Inspector David Robertson, who said: ‘I’d like to reassure the public that murders in Edinburgh are extremely rare, the use of a firearm even more so.
‘Edinburgh remains a safe place to live, work and visit.
‘As local area commander, I recognise the profound impact that this incident has had on Mr Welsh’s family, his friends and on the wider community.
‘I’d like to take the opportunity to offer my sincere condolences to them and officers will be providing additional patrols, additional reassurance and carry out investigations over the coming days.
‘We’ve put in place a significant major investigation with significant resources and we are doing everything we can to identify those responsible and bring them to justice swiftly.’