Boxing trainer Pete Taylor is 'doing fine' after early-morning gun attack which killed one man and left two others injured
- Early morning shooting at 6.55am in Bray Boxing Club
- Gunman entered club and fired a number of shots
- One man aged 50 has died, two men were injured
- Gardai locate silver coloured Volkswagen Caddy with Northern Irish plates
- 'The reaction here is just one of shock' - local
WELL-KNOWN boxing trainer Pete Taylor is "doing fine" after an early morning gun attack which killed man one man and Taylor and another man were injured in, a friend has claimed.
The incident took place at the Bray Boxing Club in The Harbour, Bray, Co Wicklow. Gardai have said that there were up to 20 people in the gym when the incident happened at about 6.55am.
A gunman entered the club and fired a number of shots from what is believed to have been a handgun.
Gardai have confirmed the deceased was aged 50, while the two injured men are aged 35 and 57. Gardaí had earlier reported the victim's age to be 30.
Boxer Gary Cully, who has won four professional fights with Pete in his corner, said on his social media page that he was in contact with his coach, who was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital after the incident.
"Just spoke to Pete on the phone, he's doing fine, that's all I know," he posted.
Cully is slated to fight on the Michael Conlan homecoming card at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on June 30 against an opponent to be confirmed.
Taylor, father of Irish Olympic hero Katie, set up the gym a number of years ago.
The dead man is believed to have been shot in the head while Mr Taylor was shot in the arm, with the bullet deflecting into his chest. The other man was hit a number of times in the leg. The two injured men are in hospital, and their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
"Gardaí can confirm that one man aged 50 years has died following a shooting incident in Bray, Co. Wicklow this morning," a garda spokesman said.
"The body of the deceased remains at the scene pending the arrival of the State Pathologist and a technical examination of the area is being carried out by Garda Crime Scene Examiners.
"Two other men, aged 35 and 57, who were injured in the incident have been taken to hospital."
The chairman of Bray Municipal Council, Chris Fox, said Katie Taylor's father Pete was one of those shot.
Fellow councillor Michael O'Connor added: "Pete Taylor was shot". It is understood that he is being treated at St Vincent's Hospital. His condition is understood to be serious but not life-threatening.
Superintendent Pat Ward from Bray garda station today said there were up to 20 people in the gym at the time of the shooting, and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
“At around ten to seven or seven o’clock this morning a number of people had gathered here to commence a gym session," he told reporters at lunchtime on Tuesday.
"There was about 15 or 20 people in the gym, and they were just about to start their session when a gunman came in carrying what we believe was a handgun and he started opening fire.
“Three people received gunshot wounds. Unfortunately a 50 year old man died at the scene and two others were injured. They were brought to hospital and are receiving treatment,” he added.
The body was taken from the scene at lunchtime.
Gardai are attempting to trace the movements of a silver Volkswagen Caddy van with Northern Irish registration which is understood to have been used in the shooting.
It is believed that this van travelled from Bray through Shankill and the Cornelscourt area before being abandoned on Pigeon House Road at around 8.05am, when a male was seen leaving the van and cycling away.
The vehicle, which is suspected of being used in the shooting, was found in the Ringsend area of Dublin this afternoon.
The Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation are assisting local units in the investigation, and members of the garda technical bureau commenced a forensic examination of the scene.
House to house enquiries, CCTV footage and witness interviews will also prove crucial in the investigation.
“We’re particularly interested in hearing from anyone who was in this area this morning, it is a leisure area and people may have been out walking or walking their dogs. If they saw anything suspicious this morning or in previous mornings or anytime in the last few days please contact us,” said Supt Ward.
This appeal also extended to anyone using the gym who may have seen any suspicious activity lately, or anyone with dashcam cameras who were in and around Bray early today.
The gunman was wearing some sort of dark cover on his head, which may have been a balaclava or a helmet of some sort.
The boxing club is where Ireland's Olympic, European and World champion Katie Taylor previously trained. It is understood she is now training in the US as she continues her professional career. The club was set up by her father and was also home to former Irish champion Adam Nolan.
The €300,000 state-of-the-art facility was officially opened in February 2014.
Early reports suggest that the deceased man opened the door to the gunman before being shot. Gardai are investigating whether the gunman then entered the building before shooting the other two men, and then making his escape.
A local at the scene told Independent.ie that the reaction locally was "one of shock" this morning.
"I could see the guards, ambulances here. Then someone told me there was a shooting. Someone said it was three young guys," he said.
"There was a lot of activity here with the guards when I came down. This kind of thing hasn't happened before.
"It's a quiet place, the guys train here and are always running up and down the pier.
"It's a positive and happy place. I don't know what the story is.
"I'm sure everyone is wondering.
"The reaction here is just one of shock.
"It gives Bray a bad name, we don't need it, everyone has the same feeling about it."
Another local said the area is "usually very quiet". He said the club is "evidently very good".
Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady said; "I just got the news, I was getting phonecalls and different people were ringing me.
"I'm just in shock. The club here is a fantastic club. It has a huge appeal to people right across Bray.
"People come here first thing in the morning and work out before they head to work.
"Local people are in shock by all account," he continued.
"These people were just shot while doing a morning workout.
"It's way too early to speculate [what's going on]."
- Anyone with information is urged to contact Bray Garda Station on 01 6665300, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.