The trial of a man accused of murdering Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe this week heard from the late officer's colleagues and credit union workers who were at the scene the night he was shot dead.
One witness told the court she feared being killed having "seen too much", while his partner recalled thinking he would prefer being shot with a handgun rather than a shotgun because it would give him a better chance of survival.
The evidence was given at the trial of Aaron Brady (28), who has denied the capital murder of Det Gda Donohoe at Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgan, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013.
Mr Brady has also pleaded not guilty to the robbery of around €7,000 from Pat Bellew at the same location on the same date.
On Tuesday, Det Gda Joe Ryan, a former garda member who had been a detective since 1998, gave evidence he was on patrol with Det Gda Donohoe that night as part of an armed escort.
He described the night as "dark, wet and quite miserable", arriving at Omeath's credit union at 8.25pm.
They escorted a credit union worker to the Lordship branch, where they waited in the car park for a number of minutes before preparing to leave, Det Gda Ryan said.
The witness recalled a vehicle approached the credit union exit and blocked the black Nissan Qashqai at the front of the escort.
Det Gda Ryan said the next thing he heard was 'banging noises' behind him and when he looked to his side he saw two men approach the vehicle on the right.
The first man, he told the court, was holding a long single-barrel shotgun in his hand.
Det Gda Ryan said he heard a loud bang and saw a flash from the front of the shotgun.
He said at this stage he could not see Det Gda Donohoe, who had left the vehicle, and believed it was a warning shot.
He told the court the person armed with the shotgun then threatened him and said: "I'm going to f***ing kill you, I'm going to shoot you. Give us the money."
The witness told prosecuting counsel Brendan Grehan SC there was a second individual armed with a handgun which he described looking like a Sig or Glock firearm.
He also said he was thinking during the incident he would prefer to be shot with the "9mm" handgun rather than the shotgun because there would have been a "better chance of survival" with the smaller firearm. He then noticed the two armed men run towards the exit of the car park, while a third raider jumped over a wall towards the vehicle that was blocking the exit, which drove off in the direction of Dundalk.
Det Gda Ryan left the car and a short time later noticed Det Gda Donohoe lying on the floor in a pool of blood, and realised he was deceased.
Audio recordings of a radio call for "urgent assistance" made by Det Gda Ryan were also played in court in which he says: "Adrian, I think he's fatally shot."
Gardaí on patrol that night recalled the transmissions coming through on their Tetra radios. Garda Alan Lynch said the voice of Det Gda Ryan was "highly distressed" while Garda Finbarr Gurrihy described the detective as having "panic" in his voice.
Credit union workers in the car park at the time also gave evidence, with one employee saying she feared being killed by a man running towards her because she had "seen too much". Bernadette McShane, a volunteer at Lordship Credit Union for 25 years, broke down as she recalled the night.
She described hearing two loud bangs and then saw Det Gda Donohoe falling to the ground and not moving.
After this, she said, an individual ran towards her. Ms McShane wiped away tears before telling the court she thought he was coming "to kill me because I'd seen too much".
This individual smashed her driver side window and told her to give him "the f***ing money" before fleeing with her handbag.
Another employee, Pat Bellew, was leaving the car park to join the escort having credit union takings totalling around €7,000 with him, the court heard.
He said he reversed his Mazda car to leave when he noticed a number of people jumping over the back wall of the credit union.
One of the men, he said, smashed the driver side window of the car before making his way around to the passenger. Footage was also played to the court from a dashcamera in Mr Bellew's car which captured some of the incident, in which the witness agreed screaming and shouting can be heard.
Mary Hanlon, a credit union worker at the Cooley office, was sitting in her Nissan Qashqai at the exit of the car park at the time.
A vehicle approached and blocked the exit, she told the court, before hearing two bangs. Ms Hanlon then noticed two men run past her vehicle with one of them holding a "long gun down his side".
Both got into the car blocking the exit with the man holding the weapon down his side, who was described as "very fit and very fast".
The witness told the court her gut instinct was that the driver of this car, who she saw from a side profile, was a female with blonde hair, wearing a beanie hat aged in her 20s or 30s.
Garda Rachel Copperthwaite gave evidence she was on patrol that night and arrived at the car park of Lordship Credit Union at around 9.35pm.
The witness said she saw Det Gda Donohoe lying beside the Toyota with a serious injury to the right-hand side of his face and "knew immediately he was deceased".
Gda Copperthwaite told the court she began taking details from witnesses at the scene.
She recalled observing a bag near the credit union wall which she covered with a plastic bag. A short time later the garda noticed a set of Nissan keys on the opposite side of the road which she covered with an evidence bag.
The 15-person jury also heard the wife of Det Gda Donohoe visited the scene 90 minutes after his killing to identify her husband's body.
Inspector Darren Kirwan, a friend and colleague of the late detective for 17 years, said he attended the Donohoe home where his wife Caroline indicated she wished to go to the scene. The post-mortem report of pathologist Dr Khalid Jaber was also read out in court in which Det Gda Donohoe's cause of death was given as a penetrating gunshot wound to the face.
He also recorded a number of personal effects that were on Det Gda Donohoe, including a wedding band on his left ring finger, a notebook and a dark leather holder with ammunition cartridge and magazine clip inside.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Michael White on Monday morning.