Emergency services have rushed to the scene on the Glen Road in West Belfast after the horror incident at around 3.15pm today.
It is understood the man was collecting his child from school when he was fatally blasted.
Police have launched an appeal into the today's shooting and are urging anyone who saw a man in his 40s, wearing a high vis vest with the words 'Security' on the back to come forward.
They have not confirmed if they believe this unidentified man is the shooter.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery said: "Police are currently at the scene of a shooting during which a man died this afternoon.
"I would like to appeal to anyone who saw a man in his 40s, wearing a high vis vest with the words 'Security' on the back heading in the direrction of Glen Road, as well as anyone who witnessed the shooting or was in the Glen Road area from 3pm today, to come forward and speak to police.
According to local SDLP Councillor Tim Attwood, a "number of pupils" witnessed the "reckless act."
Cllr Attwood added that shock has swept the community as the "victim was killed instantly."
Speaking from the scene he said: “It is absolutely sickening that a gun was fired in the vicinity of both a primary and secondary school in West Belfast today.
“A number of pupils witnessed this fatality and are understandably very disturbed and frightened after this reckless act occurred nearby the school gates.
“There is absolutely no place for this in 2018. This madness belongs in the past and we cannot allow it to once again become our normality.
“I cannot stress enough that any information relating to this incident must be passed to the PSNI immediately.”
Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey condemned the 'horrific attack.'
He said: “This is a disgraceful and horrific attack. A man has been shot dead while picking up a child from a local school in the Glen Road area.
“It is deeply concerning that this killing was carried out in full view of hundreds of kids who were leaving school at the time.
“I unreservedly condemn this murder and my thoughts at this time are with the family and friends of the victim.
"Anyone with any information on the killing of this young man should bring it forward to the police.”
A PSNI spokesman said this afternoon: "Police are dealing with an ongoing incident on the Glen Road, Belfast which will be causing significant disruption to traffic at school finishing time.
"Could we ask that parents collect their children from either the Caffrey development or the Kennedy Way end of the Glen Road."
An ambulance service spokesman added: "The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service received a 999 call at 15:14 on Tuesday 04 December 2018 following reports of an incident in the Glen Road area of Belfast.
"Two Paramedic Officers and one Rapid Response Paramedic were dispatched to the incident.
"No one was transported from the scene."
Anyone with information is urged to contact detectives there on 101 quoting reference 741 04/12/18.
Alternatively information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime."
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