Dad shot in gang murder
A FATHER died after he was shot repeatedly outside his home as he got out of his car.
Gardai are investigating if the capital's latest gang killing is linked to the murder of another man in west Dublin last weekend.
Jason Carroll (39) was shot up to six times as he stepped out of his car at Cherrywood Drive in Clondalkin at 10.30pm last night. He died later in Tallaght Hospital.
The gunman escaped the scene in a red Clio car which was later found burnt out on the Newcastle Road near the former Polly Hops pub.
Carroll – a dad of two young children and a stepson – had "strong links" to serious criminals operating in the Clondalkin area, sources said.
Carroll, who had barely any previous convictions, had been a long-term target for local drugs squad officers and was regularly stopped and searched by gardai.
"Despite having very little in way of convictions, it is fair to say that Mr Carroll was very well known to gardai, particularly at a local level," said a source.
A major line of enquiry for detectives probing the second murder in Dublin within a week is whether Carroll was involved in the fatal shooting of Dean Johnson last Saturday morning.
Mr Johnson (21) was shot twice in the body as he walked near a pub at Harelawn estate in Clondalkin.
As he lay on the ground, the gunman ran over and shot him repeatedly in the head.
"Gardai are looking at whether Mr Carroll's murder was in retaliation for the other murder but things are at a very early stage," a source explained.
Mr Carroll's last previous conviction was as far back as 2000, sources have revealed.
Mr Carroll has lived in the area for several years with his partner Audrey who has been left "devastated" by her partner's murder.
He has two young children, Libby (3) and Coady (8). He also has a stepson Jake (14) with his long-term partner.
A friend of the victim, who asked not to be named, described him as a "brilliant dad".
"The kids adored him, he was so good with them. He was always friendly and would stop to have a chat.
"My kids are friends with his and we are all just devastated."
One neighbour who knew the victim told the Herald that he was "chirpy and friendly".
"He'd always say hello, I always found him friendly. He was a chirpy chap."
Four separate vehicles, including the victim's car which is parked in the driveway, remained sealed off this morning.
Parents looked on in disbelief this morning as they walked past the crime scene while bringing their children to school.
This morning, members of the Johnson family told the Herald they wanted to express their condolences to Jason Carroll's family.
"We are still very much grieving over Dean. We have to put him to rest on Monday.
"And the last thing we need is for people to be linking the two tragedies," Larry Johnson – Dean's father – said.
The family are adamant that due to the age gap between Dean and Jason Carroll, they did not know each other.
Larry Johnson said they do not believe there is any connection between the two murders and said any suggestion is only impacting on their grief.