THE gunman suspected of murdering a breadman attempted to target two other innocent figures, including a relative of the dead man, in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, gardai believe.
In a brazen bid to claim another life, it is understood that the murderer approached a city council employee he mistook for victim Daniel Treacy's uncle, Pa Keane, while he was suspected to have been armed with a handgun.
Gardai in Limerick believe they could have been investigating another fatality if Mr Keane had been present with his colleague. But he had gone home minutes earlier after learning of the murder of Mr Treacy (35) at the Ennis Road petrol station.
Mr Treacy was gunned down at 6.30am and officers think the gunman then set about targeting the two others on his "hit" list.
At 7.15am the man believed to have been involved in the Treacy shooting approached a house at the Castletroy View area of the city carrying a bag. The householder, who was originally from St Mary's Park, was inside the home but refused admittance to the caller and he left the area.
Later that morning, with officers scouring the city for the murderer, it is understood he attempted to target Limerick City Council employee Mr Keane -- an uncle of Mr Treacy.
Mr Keane is employed in the Environmental section of Limerick City Council and operates a mini-sweeper in the city centre. He began work at 6.30am on Monday morning -- the same time Mr Treacy was shot three times in the head in the Topaz filling station.
Mr Keane, who is a brother of murdered crime boss Kieran Keane and convicted drug dealer Christy Keane, asked to finish work and returned home after learning of the shooting.
His colleague was operating a mini-sweeper at Patrick Street in Limerick city shortly after 8am when he noticed a car matching the description of the red Toyota Corolla that the gunman had used to flee from the Treacy murder.
A man emerged from the vehicle and ran towards him through rush-hour traffic carrying a bag.
But when he reached the mini-sweeper, with his hand inside the bag, he realised that it was not Mr Keane driving the small vehicle and ran back to the car. The Toyota then sped off through the city centre.
Limerick City Council reported the incident to gardai who are investigating. Mr Keane and his colleague have been granted leave from their duties.
As part of the murder investigation, gardai recovered a burnt-out car at Beale, between Ballybunion and Asdee, Co Kerry, which they believe was used by the gunman.
It was found in an isolated area and is being forensically examined. The handgun has not yet been recovered.
Officers are continuing to question two men at Henry Street and Mayorstone garda stations. The prime suspect for the murder is a 29-year-old who was arrested on Monday evening in Moyross.
Both men can be held without charge for up to seven days under anti-gangland measures.
It is believed the motive for Mr Treacy's murder was revenge for the 2005 killing of Darren Coughlan. Three young men beat the teenage apprentice electrician to death.
The chief suspect for Mr Treacy's murder is originally from Limerick and had been a close associate of Mr Coughlan.
Officers fear Mr Treacy's murderer may have attempted to target as many people as possible that are connected or related to those responsible for Mr Coughlan's death.
Mr Treacy's younger brother Richard and his cousin Joseph Keane were each jailed for six years for the killing of Mr Coughlan.
Speaking on Newstalk radio yesterday, Philip Treacy, father of Daniel, said his family would never be able to cope with his murder.
Philip Treacy remains under armed garda protection after another son, Owen Treacy, gave crucial testimony against the five men responsible for Kieran Keane's murder in 2003.
"I was going out the door yesterday with my overalls on me to collect my van down at the back of the house," Mr Treacy said.
"The phone rang, it was Daniel's girlfriend to say he was shot and I just went dumbfounded."
He added: "My wife Pauline is in bits. She'll never be right again, and neither will I."