A man who starred as a gangland figure in T2 Trainspotting has been shot dead in Edinburgh’s west end.
Bradley Welsh, 48, who also featured in an episode of Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men, was killed outside his home in Chester Street at 20:00 on Wednesday.
Police have confirmed that the death is being treated as murder.
One resident said he was told someone had been shot in the head and people were instructed to stay indoors as the street was cordoned off.
Armed officers were sent to the scene after receiving “multiple reports” of a firearm discharge.
Police later confirmed that a man had died at the scene after being found in a stairwell to a basement apartment with a serious injury.
Detectives said early investigations indicated that it was an isolated attack.
Welsh starred alongside Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, and Robert Carlyle in T2 Trainspotting, playing the gangland figure Mr Doyle.
Author Irvine Welsh paid tribute to “his beautiful friend” on social media.
Writing on Twitter, the Trainspotting writer said: “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.”
In Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men on Bravo in 2008, Bradley Welsh described himself as a “born leader”.
In the programme he discussed his past as a Hibs Casual football hooligan in the 1980s.
He talked about how he “mobbed and robbed” and was involved with organised “smash and grabs” at stores, including Jenners in Edinburgh.
He later became involved in organising security at hundreds of clubs in Edinburgh.
‘I thought I was Don Corleone’
He told the programme: “I was 17 years old, just turning 18, and I thought I was Don Corleone.
“I thought this is it, I can do whatever I want. I was fearless. I was being perditious to people, overpowering people – it was a kick.”
Welsh, who was a father, later spent four years in prison for extorting money from estate agents.
However, the boxer 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 the British ABA lightweight boxing champion in 1993.
Local resident Alasdair Morton said armed police sealed off the area from Walker Street to Manor Place as someone had suffered a “gunshot wound to the head”.
Mr Morton, 46, said: “I came out the house and we were told to go back in. Around three police cars and a black van drove along the street and the traffic then stopped.
“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.”
A woman, who did not want to be named, was in her flat across the road from the incident when she heard a “massive bang”.
She added: “I was in the kitchen and heard a bang. 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.”
On social media, 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.”
Det Supt Allan Burton, from Police Scotland’s major investigation team, said: “At this time our deepest sympathies are with this man’s family and a significant inquiry is now under way 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.
“However, we wish to reassure the public that considerable resources are being dedicated to this inquiry and we are treating this matter with the utmost seriousness.”
Ch Insp David Robertson, local area commander for Edinburgh city centre, added: “We recognise 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.”