BMX killer shoots young man dead in gang feud
A masked gunman on a BMX bike shot a man dead as part of a long-running gang feud.
The gun attack took place in the Greenhills area of Athy shortly after 5pm yesterday and a suspect was arrested shortly afterwards.
The victim was been named locally as Jason Doogue (22) who is from Athy, Co Kildare. His mother, Mary, was killed in 1995.
The victim was sitting on a wall with up to four friends when the assailant approached him on a BMX bike. The gunman was wearing a balaclava.
He opened fire at close range with a handgun and shot Doogue once, who collapsed over the wall. The gunman, in front of horrified onlookers, then leant in over the wall and discharged a further two shots at his target before fleeing.
Doogue struggled to his feet and collapsed at the entrance of a nearby house. A woman attempted to cradle him and neighbours said the dying man cried out "get me help, get me help" as he lay bleeding on the doorstep.
The victim was critically ill when the emergency services arrived and he was rushed to Naas hospital.
He died from his wounds about an hour and a half later.
Gardaí carried out a series of searches in the town in the immediate wake of the shooting and arrested a suspect, who is in his 40s and from the Athy area. He can be held without charge for up to seven days.
The Offices of the State Pathologist have been notified and a post mortem examination is expected to take place today.
A motive for the gun slaying has not yet been established, but one theory being investigated is that the killing was part of a drugs feud in the Kildare town.
Doogue was known to gardaí for public order offences.
The scene of the gun attack remained sealed off overnight as investigations led by officers based in Athy garda station continued.
A group of young women wept openly near the scene.
A 22-year-old friend, fighting back her tears, said: "Jason was just waiting to go into his friend's house and have a shower before going on a date with his girlfriend. It's terrible what happened him. He had a hard life."
Prior to yesterday's murder, there had been a number of recent pipe bomb and gun attacks on homes in Athy. Garda resources had been increased in recent weeks as fears grew about an upsurge in violence.
A series of incidents in the town, including one in which shots were fired, stemmed from a feud between two groups, suspected of being involved in drug trafficking and other crimes.
In 1995, Jason Doogue's mother - Mary (30) - was kicked to death by her ex-lover Stephen Davis (20) in a jealous rage following a night out. He was later found guilty of her murder. He spent more than 15 years in prison before being released on licence.