It is understood he may have taken the extreme course of action to avoid an upcoming court appearance.
The enforcer aged 31 -- who has strong links to the INLA terror group -- was formerly a close associate of feared hood Declan 'Whacker' Duffy and has strong links to gangsters all over the capital.
The theory that the gun wounds -- which were inflicted by a handgun -- were self inflicted is just one line in the investigation as the criminal was also in a cash dispute with some of his former associates.
A source said: "This fella is capable of pretty much anything, including pulling off a stunt like this so gardai are keeping a very open mind on the case.
"He is facing a serious sentence in the courts so maybe he wanted to defer this for a while."
In the past the criminal -- who has worked as a nightclub bouncer -- has been the victim of a pipe bomb attack, a savage assault and was even pepper sprayed in a nightclub incident.
He was also part of a gang who were involved in a kidnapping incident in north Dublin in which a business man was abducted and threatened with being shot unless he handed over a large amount of cash.
The gangster has numerous previous convictions and has been arrested for a variety of serious offences, such as blackmail, extortion, threats to kill, assault and burglary.
He is linked to a number of very serious criminals, including a bodybuilder from north Dublin who is one of the main targets of the garda Organised Crime Unit and a Traveller criminal whose girlfriend was murdered in a brutal gun attack.
He was regularly spotted in the company of terror chief Declan 'Whacker' Duffy before he was extradited to the UK to serve a sentence for murdering a British soldier.
'Whacker' Duffy and his associates were involved in a gangland war against 'Fat' Freddie Thompson's drug dealing mob in 2007 and 2008.