murder, robbery and mayhem in crime spree
A north-inner-city crime spree has left one man shot dead, a homeless man hospitalised after an assault and a taxi driver robbed at gunpoint - all within walking distance of each other.
Gardai are investigating if all three incidents are related - even though they occurred over an 11-hour period, but within the same Dublin 1 area.
A man in his 40s was gunned down at the Killarney Court flats complex near Portland Row and the Five Lamps at 11.45pm last night.
One theory is that the victim was first approached on North Strand and that he ran into Killarney St while being chased by the gunman.
He then vaulted the railings into the Killarney Court flats. However, it was while he was trying to climb railings at the far side of the flats on Empress Place he was gunned down.
Other local sources say the victim was targeted at Empress Place and the gunman then ran through the flats and out on to Killarney Street by climbing over the second set of railings.
The victim was shot in the face and upper body and his injuries were so severe that gardai were having difficulty identifying him.
The body was removed from the scene this morning and members of the garda technical bureau carried out a forensic examination of the area.
This morning armed gardai also began carrying out extensive searches and house-to- house enquiries. Railings on both sides of Killarney Court were covered to preserve evidence, and armed gardai also searched the grounds of the adjacent derelict Aldborough House.
Earlier in the night a taxi driver was robbed at gunpoint on Terrace Place in Dublin 1, just yards from where the gun victim was shot dead.
The driver had picked up a fare in the Finglas area and the male passenger asked to be brought to the city centre. When the driver arrived at Terrace Place, off Upper Buckingham Street, the man produced a sawn-off shotgun and held up the driver, taking his money before fleeing.
And then just after 6am this morning, a homeless man was savagely beaten by a man and robbed of his spare change as he slept on Mabbot Lane, just off Talbot Street in Dublin 1.
The victim was taken to the Mater Hospital while a 55-year-old man was arrested nearby and brought to Store Street garda station for questioning.
Gardai are investigating a link between the taxi robbery and the assault of the homeless man - as well as probing a connection to the murder.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke condemned the killing and robberies as "cowardly".