independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

Garda Ombudsman to investigate shooting

TRAGIC INCIDENT SHOCKS NORTH STRAND AREA

THE GARDA Síochána Ombudsman Commission is investigating last Friday's incident in which it appears Drogheda man David Kelly shot himself dead shortly after speeding away from gardaí who had noticed a shotgun on the seat of his vehicle.

The 41-year-old father of two sons died in the early hours of Friday morning after discharging a shot from a gun in his possession.

Mr. Kelly was originally from Mellifont Abbey, North Road.

He had been living in Grange Rath for a number of years, and worked in the nearby Glanbia dairy.

The incident began shortly before 5 a.m. on Friday morning when gardaí in a patrol car spotted Mr. Kelly's silver Santa Fe 4X4 driving in an erratic manner near Haymarket Bridge.

Gardaí stopped the car to speak to Mr. Kelly, who was alone in the vehicle.

As they talked to him, they noticed a shotgun on the seat beside him and asked him to step from the car.

It was then Mr. Kelly ' took off at speed' towards the Dublin Road area of the town.

Gardaí continued to follow the man, however lost sight of him momentarily.

A call to his house in Grange Rath proved fruitless, however a short time later a patrol car passed Mr. Kelly's vehicle as it was parked on the North Strand, yards from the entrance to Drogheda Port.

As the patrol car went to investigate the car, a shotgun appeared out the window of Mr. Kelly's vehicle, where two rounds were let off.

Sources described them as 'warning shots', saying they were not directed at the patrol car.

The gardaí were uninjured, and retreated to a safe location, requesting armed back-up.

Members of the armed Garda regional support unit arrived on the scene, and as they approached Mr Kelly's vehicle, he discharged a shot from his shotgun, fatally wounding himself.

An ambulance was called for the victim, who was pronoucned dead at the scene.

Gardaí sealed off the scene and the matter was referred to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, which must by law investigate any loss of life arising during or immediately after the deceased has been in contact with gardaí.

State Pathologist Dr. Marie Cassidy examined Mr. Kelly's body at the scene, before it was removed for a postmortem examination.

Gardaí are appealing for anyone who was in the North Strand area of Drogheda between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Friday morning, and who may have seen anything, to contact them at Drogheda garda station.

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