herald

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Grandfather shot dead in flat 'may have been killed with his own gun'

Gardai at the scene
Gardai at the scene

The Dublin grandfather killed in a mysterious shooting in a city flat had his own gun and may have been shot with it.

Pals of Gary O'Brien (51), who was shot once in the head in his basement flat on the North Circular Road on February 19, have told the Herald they had seen him with a weapon in the past.

They said Mr O'Brien would show them the gun, which he hid in the kitchen area of his flat, but are convinced he did not kill himself, as was originally thought.

Suspicious

"Gary was either shot by accident or deliberately, but he did not do it himself," said one man known to him.

Gardai were originally told by the people that found Gary that he had taken his own life, but the investigation swiftly turned to that of a suspicious death when the weapon used could not be found at the scene.

Investigators are exploring every possibility in the case and have not ruled out some sort of accidental discharge of a weapon in the shooting.

In the early stages, gardai also considered a scenario where Mr O'Brien may have played Russian roulette.

However, forensic evidence from the scene has ruled this out and friends of the Finglas man say his own weapon was not a revolver-type weapon used to engage in the deadly game.

On top of that, Mr O'Brien was shot in the forehead, making it more likely that he was shot by somebody else who was standing in front of him.

Gardai carried out extensive searches at the dead man's flat in the days after he was killed.

A second search of the bedsit was carried out yesterday by detectives after gardai received a tip-off as to where he allegedly used to hide his own gun.

Search

Nothing was recovered in the latest search, adding weight to the theory that Mr O'Brien was shot with his own weapon which was then disposed of.

The building where Mr O'Brien, who was nicknamed 'Pablo', was living is split into a number of flats, and residents reported hearing raised voices around the time he was shot.

Two people, a man and a woman, both in their 40s, were arrested and questioned by gardai in the days following the 51-year-old's death.

They have both since been released without charge and a file on the matter is being sent to the DPP.

His body has yet to be released to his family, who are planning his funeral.

Mr O'Brien, who was originally from Finglas, was a father and a grandfather and had lived in the North Circular Road flat for more than seven years.

He had limited mobility and sometimes used a wheelchair.

Superintendent Ann Markey, of Bridewell Garda Station, has appealed to the public for help.

"If anyone saw something we'd ask them to report to our incident room we have set up specifically for this investigation on 01 666 8200 or any Garda station," she said.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News