'Zombie' flees as gunmen open fire in botched Halloween hit
Veteran criminal survives bid to murder him in his car - at a time of year he previously feared he would be killed
Published 29/10/2016 | 06:46
SEASONED criminal Tommy ‘The Zombie’ Savage narrowly escaped an attempt on his life just days before Halloween – a time of the year he previously feared he would be killed.
The 66-year-old former INLA gangster, who is believed to have imported large quantities of drugs into Ireland, was shot at several times in Swords last night.
He was targeted as he was pulling into a driveway and jumped out of the car and ran. Four bullet holes were seen in the windscreen. A local source said he was lucky to escape with his life.
Up to two gunmen fled the scene, and a black Audi believed to have been used in the shooting was found burned out in a lane nearby.
Gardai are probing whether the attack was linked to an INLA feud over missing cash, which was also thought to have been the reason behind another failed hit this year.
In July, Christopher Maguire survived being shot at his home in Lusk, Co Dublin.
Sources said last night’s shooting could be the latest development in a row in the so-called New INLA faction over extortion cash.
Some of Maguire’s associates are suspected of being involved in the murder of Gareth Hutch, but it is not clear if either of the shootings is linked in any way to the Kinahan-Hutch feud.
The scene of last night’s shooting remained sealed off for forensic investigators to examine Savage’s bullet-damaged car at Rathbeale Crescent.
Two windows in the silver- coloured Renault Clio were shattered. The front-seat pass-enger window was hit and the passenger window behind the driver was also damaged.
A 52-year-old local woman said she thought the shots were fireworks.
“I heard the bangs. There were a few clips. I thought it was just Halloween fireworks,” she said.
A 30-year-old man living in nearby Mooretown Estate said: “I heard six shots. I knew straight away it was gunfire. It sounded like six thuds.
“I went and got into my car and drove down to the scene, but all I saw was the empty car.”
Some locals said they saw Savage after the shooting.
“I saw him surrounded by guards. He had run across to the JC supermarket, which was crowded at the time,” one man said.
“When I saw him, he was coming out of the supermarket with about five guards all around him. He got into an ambulance.”
Savage is believed to be a key associate of George ‘The Penguin’ Mitchell and has convictions for armed robbery, theft and violence and became involved with the INLA in the late 1970s.
He was jailed in Greece in 2006 for smuggling €50m of cannabis.
In his book, Gangland, Paul Williams described him as “feared by practically everyone”.
“He was among the most successful terrorists-turned-drug dealers in the business,” he said.