A close associate of murdered Gareth Hutch is believed to be armed and dangerous and seeking revenge.
Gardai were on alert last night as the man’s whereabouts were unknown and tensions remained on a knife-edge.
An alert was issued to all garda districts that the man was “seeking out” the killers who blasted Gareth Hutch (35) in broad daylight at Avondale House flats yesterday morning.
One man handed himself in to gardai at Mountjoy Garda Station last night, fearing for his life. He can be questioned for seven days.
A suspect for the shooting, who was living among the Hutches on ‘Murder Mile’, was still on the run last night.
The man, a 30-year-old volatile criminal, lives “just around the corner” in the same area of the north inner city where four feud murders have been carried out in just over three months.
It has emerged that gardai raided a house in the area only five hours after Hutch was killed.
Father-of-one Gareth Hutch (35) was “riddled” with bullets fired from a handgun fitted with a silencer.
A close associate reportedly arrived at the scene moments after the killers struck.
But at that stage the two hitmen had dropped their guns and were fleeing the scene. The associate reportedly chased after them.
An armed checkpoint had been set up only 200 metres from the apartment complex where yesterday’s murder was carried out. Another checkpoint was also operating in the Sean McDermott Street area on Monday night.
Gardai said that shortly before 10am yesterday, two gunmen approached Hutch as he walked towards his black Volkswagen Passat at the Avondale House complex.
It is believed the gunmen were lying in wait and approached him from behind.
They then proceeded to fire a number of shots from handguns. Gardai say two firearms have been recovered.
The gunmen fled the scene, jumping into a black BMW 5 Series car. They twice tried to start the car, but eventually ran away, leaving the vehicle behind.
The pair, one wearing a grey hoodie and the other a red tracksuit top, ran off in the direction of Sean McDermott Street.
Speaking at the scene of the murder, a 29-year-old local man told the Herald he saw the murder.
“I felt his pulse and he was stone dead,” he said. “I think they both had silencers on their guns. It sounded like ‘Snap, snap, snap’. It sounded like a toy gun.
“A guy chased them down the road. He was obviously a friend of the guy that got shot.
“He was sitting in the car when they shot him through the window. At least one bullet went through the window.
“There were six or seven of us standing across the road and as soon as we heard the shots we looked over and saw the whole thing.”
One of the men who handed himself in to gardai is believed to be a close associate of the Michael Taylor Jnr gang.
Taylor Jnr (31), from Summerhill, was jailed for life for the murder of Paul Kelly (26) in April 2007. The Herald previously revealed that Taylor’s father was shot dead in retaliation for Kelly’s killing.
The second man who gardai suspect of involvement in yesterday’s murder previously served a lengthy sentence for explosives offences after detectives mounted a major operation against the INLA.
The Herald also revealed that one of the men believed to have been involved in yesterday’s murder was in the same pub where dissident republican Michael Barr was shot dead on the orders of the Kinahan cartel last month.
Only days after Barr’s murder, the north inner city criminal was himself officially notified by gardai of a threat against his life amid mounting underworld speculation that he had played some role in setting up Barr on the night he was shot dead.
Gardai are appealing for anyone who may have seen the two gunmen leaving the area of the Avondale House flats to contact them.
They are also appealing for anyone who saw the black BMW 5 Series, with a 02-D-39051 registration plate, yesterday or in previous days to contact them. The car and another vehicle have been seized by gardai.
A second car that the killers used to escape, a Skoda Octavia, was later found by gardai, burned out at Dubber Lane in Finglas.
Detectives are downloading CCTV coverage from the Avondale House apartment complex and nearby streets to help them with their investigation.
Gardai believe that Co Tyrone man Michael Barr, who was shot dead in the Sunset House in Summerhill at 9.30pm on April 25, became a target because of his close association with the Regency Hotel gunman known as Flat Cap.
Gareth Hutch, who was originally from Drumalee Avenue in Dublin’s north inner city, was previously cleared of attempted robbery charges.
The charges related to an incident when criminal Gareth Molloy (27) was shot dead by a member of the Garda Emergency Response Unit during a raid by a gang on a security van delivering cash to a supermarket in Lucan in May 2009.
The murder victim’s cousin, Derek ‘Del Boy’ Hutch, was convicted in relation to this crime.
After being extradited from Holland to face the charges in September 2014, Hutch spent almost 15 months in Cloverhill Prison before being cleared last December.
Gareth was a nephew of the Kinahan’s cartel’s chief target, Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, and a son of The Monk’s older brother, taxi driver Johnny Hutch (63).