herald

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Man is ambushed and shot up to four times in gangland-style attack

Bullet holes in a car after a man was shoot at in Stamullen, Co. Meath
Bullet holes in a car after a man was shoot at in Stamullen, Co. Meath

A man was ambushed by an attacker who blasted him up to four times in a gangland-style shooting in the driveway of his home last night.

The victim, who was named locally as Tony O'Connor, was shot by a lone gunman in the Mill Close estate in Stamullen, Co Meath.

It is understood the gunman was waiting for him when he returned yesterday at around 7pm.

When the victim got out of a car the gunman opened fire at least seven times, hitting the victim up to four times in the upper body.

Conscious

Mr O'Connor was rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where his condition is believed to be serious.

The Herald understands Mr O'Connor was conscious when he was being transferred to hospital and was able to speak to medics.

Several bullet holes in the windscreen of a black Volvo car were visible last night as shocked locals milled around the scene.

Five bullet holes were grouped in the glass and two more were visible in the shattered window in the front passenger side and in the door.

Gardai are investigating the possible involvement of one of the country's most feared hitmen, and that the attack may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Shocked local people gathered near the car last night as gardai preserved the scene pending examination.

A 20-year-old local man said neighbours came to the victim's aid following the shooting.

"I ran over and I saw the man crunched over on his hands and knees. He was out of the car and was on grass in front of the houses," he said.

"He was talking to people around him who were trying to help him.

"About four people were around him and it looked like they were putting pressure on his wounds.

"I didn't see any blood. A woman helping him asked 'Are you all right?' He just said 'Yeah'. People were trying to help him."

Another man who lives in the estate, who did not want to be named, said: "I was in my house when I heard shots.

"It sounded like someone was hammering something on a construction site and at first I didn't take much notice. But then I looked outside and I saw everybody had come out of their homes to see what happened."

It is believed Mr O'Connor is originally from north Dublin but has been living in Co Meath for some time.

The victim is not known by gardai to be involved in organised crime.

This is the third gun attack in the area in recent times. Last September, shots were fired at a house in the Mill Close estate.

A single bullet hit the front door of a house when a gunman struck at around 1am. No one was injured in the incident.

It is believed there was another shooting in the area only three months ago.

Green Party councillor Tom Kelly said it was shocking that someone would target a residential area where children could be in danger.

"The people of Stamullen are upset and saddened at such a vicious attack," he told the Herald.

"Stamullen is a peaceful and quiet area and this shooting has caused upset to a lot of people.

"It happened in a residential area where there are children and families and their safety would have been put in danger.

"I'm very sad for the family of the victim and I hope he makes a full recovery. It's unbelievable that this has happened."

Gardai from Drogheda Garda Station are investigating.

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