One of the survivors said the gunfire came from a yellow Mini with two or three people inside. A short time later an army foot patrol found two youths inspecting a yellow Mini in a garage in Ballycarry Street, off the Oldpark Road, a mile from the shooting. A crowd throwing stones and bottles attacked the soldiers, forcing them to withdraw. When the soldiers returned in an armoured vehicle they came under heavy fire from the same weapon used to kill Robert Burns.
An RUC detective-constable told the inquest that the two youths found with the car and its owner knew nothing about the crime. The shooting appeared to have been a sectarian assassination, since all those shot were Protestants, he said. He added that it was in all probability carried out by a republican grouping, probably the IRA.