Father (31) shot dead as he held infant son in his arms
Published 03/06/2011 | 05:00
A MAN died in a hail of bullets in a gangland-style shooting as he carried his 18-month-old son to the front door of his home.
Edward 'Eric' Cummins (31) was struck three times in the back and once in the neck -- with his toddler son, Eddie Jnr, incredibly escaping injury despite being in his father's arms as he was killed.
Just seconds before being shot six years ago, Mr Cummins -- a suspected drug dealer -- had sat his son on the boot of the family car and jokingly tickled the toddler
One 9mm bullet was later found protruding from the victim's back while another passed right through his body and was recovered by gardai in the hallway of his Ballincollig, Co Cork, home.
Mr Cummins's partner, Michelle Cunningham, was left screaming for help as she ran to help free her son, whose leg had been trapped under his dying father's blood-soaked body.
It also emerged yesterday that the killer, and his getaway driver, had brazenly parked just metres from Mr Cummins's house as they awaited his return from a Chinese takeaway.
A Cork Coroner's inquest was held yesterday into the killing of Mr Cummins, of Ophelia Place, The Lough, Cork, on August 13, 2005. He was shot and killed in Old Court, Ballincollig, Co Cork.
The hearing was only possible because the Director of Public Prosecutions, having considered a detailed garda file, ruled that no charges were possible in the case.
Det Sgt Denis Cahill confirmed that gardai had taken 250 witness statements and arrested 11 people as part of their probe. They even recovered the weapon, an FN Browning 9mm semi-automatic pistol, from the gutted remains of the getaway car later discovered 2km from the attack.
Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane was told by several teens that they had been playing in the area that August evening. At around 9.30pm, a red 1994-registered Honda saloon drove into the area and parked.
There were two men in the car and the teens thought it unusual that they turned their backs to the car windows and faced each other with their heads bowed.
The duo smoked and chatted before the front-seat passenger got out at 10pm after spotting a green Nissan Micra, in which Mr Cummins was a passenger, drive up.
"He went around the side of a tree and started rummaging through the bushes and ivy," one teen said. "I could see he had black gloves on and what looked like a short black rod in his hand," he added.
The man jogged up to Eric Cummins and another teen said he heard a loud bang.
Ms Cunningham said she started screaming for help when she saw the gunman walk up behind her partner and fire multiple rounds.
The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing.