herald

Saturday 21 September 2019

Hitman rams victim off road and fires up to 10 bullets into windscreen

Man (42) quizzed over 'Guinea Pig' murder hit six times in Lucan ambush

A car containing ten bullet holes after a shooting at Griffeen Glen Park, Lucan
A car containing ten bullet holes after a shooting at Griffeen Glen Park, Lucan
The vehicle is removed from the scene of the shooting
A burnt-out getaway van

A man who was quizzed over the murder of the 'Guinea Pig' is in a serious condition in hospital after being shot multiple times in a west Dublin gun attack.

The 42-year-old was hit up to six times after being ambushed in Lucan shortly before 2pm.

A hitman fired ten shots through the front windscreen of the victim's SUV after ramming the vehicle.

The man was struck in the head, chest and arm, but despite being shot multiple times he managed to flee to a nearby property to raise the alarm.

The gun victim was once a close associate of Mark 'Guinea Pig' Desmond who was murdered in December 2016 just yards from the scene of yesterday's shooting.

However, despite being very close, the gun target was arrested in June 2017 over Desmond's murder along with another man in his 20s.

The hit target was also linked to David Lynch (42) who was shot dead in nearby Foxdene in March of this year.

Lynch, who was also known as David Chen, was considered a significant player in the drugs trade who also acted as a money launderer.

Gardai are investigating a possible link between the Lynch murder and the gun attack.

Detectives will also probe any connections between the shooting and the murder of Mark Desmond, who was shot in nearby Griffeen Glen Park.

After yesterday's shooting the hit team fled in a van to the nearby Elm Way road where the vehicle was burnt out.

A second getaway vehicle was later found burnt out nearby and gardai are probing if the gunman then fled on a motorbike.

There was a significant emergency response in the area following the gun attack with local uniformed and plain clothes officers, armed gardai and the air support unit being dispatched.

Hallmarks

A source told the Herald: "The gunman was making no mistake and the shooting has the hallmarks of a professional hit.

"The target's car was rammed before he was shot at ten times. The close grouping of the bullet holes shows that this was a gunman with experience in handling firearms," the source said.

The injured man last night remained at James Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown in a critical condition.

Neighbours were shaken at the scene and many children huddled around the sealed off area.

"You hear about it but you never expect it to happen on your own road," said one woman.

"We're neighbours, we live right here and it's terrifying," she added.

"It's shocking for something like this to happen," said a man walking his dog.

Pointing over to garda cars and emergency service units, "the sooner these get out the better", he added.

"Just want peace and quiet to walk my dog," he said.

The locals were also reminded of a similar incident in July last year in Earlsford in Lucan.

"Something similar happened here last year," said another neighbour.

"It's very worrying for us," he added.

"This is actually really sad," said another neighbour, who lives in the estate.

"There's a lot of kids in the area, probably more kids than adults," he added.

One line of inquiry into the shooting is that there is a link to the murder of David Lynch.

He was gunned down as he left his home at Foxdene Avenue, Clondalkin shortly after 2pm on March 1 last.

He was closely connected to a number of major criminals across Dublin and Kildare but kept a low-profile and had no major criminal convictions.

Like the victim of yesterday's shooting, David Chen was also a close associate of notorious criminal Mark 'Guinea Pig' Desmond, who himself was shot dead in 2016.

Despite being associates, Chen had been under investigation for orchestrating the murder of his former pal.

A firearm with a silencer attached was discovered beside the burnt-out car which gardai suspect was the murder weapon.

Desmond, a suspect in a number of gangland murders, received three gun shot wounds to the head, while also being shot once in the leg on December 2, 2016.

He had been working for a Sligo based drugs gang and was also associated with criminals in the Lucan area.

He was killed shortly before 8pm on a Friday evening, and was believed to have been meeting with associates before being fatally shot.

Botched

The 'Guinea Pig had previously survived a number of attempts on his life, including a botched shooting in Tallaght in 2005 and a failed hit in Ballyfermot in 2010.

Desmond was linked to at least four killings, including the horrific Canal Murders in 2000.

He was initially charged in relation to the murders of Darren Carey and Patrick Murray, whose remains were discovered in the Grand Canal between January 9 and 10, 2000.

However, the charges were sensationally dropped and he was later jailed for firearms offences relating for the same incident.

Desmond was also the chief suspect in the murder of Anthony Cannon (29), an associate of jailed gang boss Brian Rattigan.

The gun for hire was also suspected of playing a key role in the murder of James Kenny McDonagh in 2010.

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