Friday 30 September 2016

Man tackled robber armed with handgun during post office heist

Alan O'Keefe

Published 19/01/2016 | 16:42

Gardai at the scene of Post Office Robbery at Woodbine Park , Blackrock
Dublin this afternoon.
Pictures :Brian McEvoy
Gardai at the scene of Post Office Robbery at Woodbine Park , Blackrock Dublin this afternoon. Pictures :Brian McEvoy
Gardai at the scene of Post Office Robbery at Woodbine Park, Blackrock Dublin this afternoon. Pictures :Brian McEvoy
General view of scene at Woodbine Park Post Office, Woodbine Park, Blackrock, Co. Dublin

A gunman who opened fire in a raid on a Dublin post office was bravely tackled to the ground by two men.

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The masked gunman entered the post office at Woodbine Park, Blackrock, shortly after 2pm and threatened staff before firing a number of shots at the glass security screen on the counter.

Shortly afterwards, as the gunman emerged from the premises, a man working in the vicinity grappled with the gunman.

In the violent struggle, the armed robber lashed out and hit the courageous man on the head with the gun.

Blood flowed from the man's head as he continued to struggle with the gunman. A second man then jumped in to tackle the gunman.

During the struggle, the handgun fell to the ground and was kicked away.

The two men and the gunman ended up on the ground as the two have-a-go-heroes tried to pin the robber to the footpath.

But the criminal managed to break free. One of the men stood on the gun during the struggle.

The robber ran from the scene, leaving the gun behind on the ground and a bicycle he had used to travel to the post office.

A 24-year-old woman who works in a grocery shop next door to the post office,  told The Herald she called the gardai as the raid was in progress.

"Four or five men came running into the shop and told us to call the guards because there was a guy with a gun in the post office," she said.

"I had heard bangs but I didn't know it was shots. I thought it might have been a car on the road.

The man was still in the post office when I rang the guards.

"A man outside the post office managed to knock the gunman to the ground when he came out. He got hit on the head by the gunman and there was a big gash in his forehead.

"I think he must have knocked the gun out of his hand and another man stood on it.

"The gunman was wearing a balaclava mask.  Another man also helped to tackle him.  The two men who struggled with him were working in the area, as far as I know.

"The gunman ran off leaving the gun and a bicycle behind. 

"THe man with the gash on his head was taken to hospital  "The guards arrived  very, very quickly. In about four minutes.

"Those two men who tackled the gunman are definitely heroes.

"They put their own life at risk to protect other people," she said.

Another woman working in a shop nearby said the gun used by the robber was "a big one."

Mary Creed told The Herald "When I came out of the shop I saw the handgun lying on the ground and there was a man standing over it who appeared to be waiting for the guards to arrive.

"THe gardai were just beginning to arrive and the gunman was gone.

"It was a very big handgun and was brown and silver and blocky looking. It was a sizeable handgun," she said.

"A lot of people might say that the two men who tried to stop him shouldn't have done it. But I think they were brilliant and two very brave young men.

"The man who was hit on the head had blood coming for his forehead. He said he was alright and did not need to go to hospital. He was taken to a local doctor but then he was taken to hospital by ambulance.

"Fair play to those brave men. They deserve credit for the action they took. It's clear not everyone would have done what they did," said Ms Creed.

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