herald

Thursday 13 December 2018

Teenager is arrested over shooting of garda during 'crack den' raid

Gardai remove a suspect from scene of Thursday’s shootout
Gardai remove a suspect from scene of Thursday’s shootout

An 18-year-old man suspected of shooting a garda during a drugs raid on a Ballymun house has been arrested.

He was still being questioned in Ballymun Garda Station last night.

The teenager was arrested yesterday morning by detectives in relation to possession of firearms offences.

Two women, aged 47 and 24, who were arrested at the scene of the incident at Barnwell Drive, Ballymun, on Thursday morning were released without charge yesterday.

Both were also questioned about the shooting, and a file will now be prepared for the DPP.

A 44-year-old man who lived in the property where the incident happened was still being questioned last night.

He is a well-known local drug addict and criminal who was previously jailed for a brutal knife attack on two women.

The property in which he lives has been a cause of major concern for gardai, who suspect it has been used as crack den in recent months.

"There have been a lot of problems there, and crack cocaine has been sold out of the property," a senior source said last night.

A member of the Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) is lucky to be alive after he was hit in the arm when the suspect opened fire during Thursday's raid.

He and his colleagues were attempting to breach a reinforced door at the house.

The ERU officer, who is aged in his 30s, has since been discharged from hospital.

The suspect is said to have opened fire from the downstairs window, using a handgun loaded with .22 ammunition.

It is understood the four occupants of the house thought members of a rival drug gang were trying to force their way in.

Warrant

The ERU had been called in to provide armed back-up for local gardai who were executing a warrant to search the house for crack cocaine.

Officers were using an angle grinder to try to get through a reinforced door at the back of the house. They succeeded in gaining entry, and in an exchange of gunfire the 18-year-old was hit.

A said source the shot officer was "extremely lucky he wasn't hit in the head".

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