'It's not loaded' . . . and then he pulled trigger
HORROR: Witness tell of Collopy blunder
A JURY has heard how a criminal gang leader declared that his Glock pistol was not loaded seconds before he put the gun to his head, pulled the trigger and killed himself.
The inquest of Philip Collopy (29) was informed that the convicted criminal shot himself in a house in Limerick city in front of a number of teenagers and neighbours.
Evidence was provided at yesterday's inquest in Limerick city that just before Mr Collopy pointed the gun at his head, he said: "There is nothing in it, watch."
Seconds later a bullet passed through his head and lodged itself in the ceiling of the home of Mary Kelly-O'Donoghue at St Munchins Street, St Mary's Park on March 21, 2009. Officers arrived to the scene just around 2.15am.
The bullet left an entry wound to the right side of Mr Collopy's head and an exit wound to the left side before passing through aeroboard in the ceiling. A fragment of bone was also found in the ceiling.
One teenage girl who was in the house said Mr Collopy came out of the bathroom wearing a holster with the handgun.
"Philip said, 'there is nothing in it, watch," said the teenager in evidence.
She said when the gun went off, he fell to the floor and a male picked up the gun and ran out the back door.
Mary Kelly-O'Donoghue said: "I remember Philip going to the toilet. He came back and he had a gun in his hand.
"I said be careful with that. He said, 'there is nothing in it'. He put up to his head. There was a lot of blood."
A Glock pistol and a magazine were later recovered from the scene.
Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster said Mr Collopy died from severe brain swelling caused by a single gunshot wound.
The jury returned a verdict in accordance with medical evidence.