Thursday 21 February 2019

'I don’t know how I’m still alive' - delivery driver shot at three times

The Bullet damage done to a car when an innocent man was targeted mistakenly
The Bullet damage done to a car when an innocent man was targeted mistakenly
The Bullet damage done to a car when an innocent man was targeted mistakenly
The Bullet damage done to a car when an innocent man was targeted mistakenly

Conor Feehan and Ken Foy

A FAST-FOOD delivery driver feared that he was going to die when his car was shot up in a case of mistaken identity.

The shocking incident happened in Greenfort Avenue, Clondalkin, on Sunday night when a gang blocked the man’s car and fired though the windscreen and door directly at him.

One bullet deflected off the dashboard, missing his head. The second bullet lodged in his seat.

“Whoever they were targeting they wanted to kill. I don’t know how I’m still alive,” the terrified man told Independent.ie in an exclusive interview.

The Bullet damage done to a car when an innocent man was targeted mistakenly
The Bullet damage done to a car when an innocent man was targeted mistakenly

“I just keep thinking, the road was dark and quiet. If they had shot me I would have bled out there on my own with no one to save me.”

Our exclusive photos show the damage caused to the innocent man’s car in the capital’s latest gun attack.

The driver, who is aged in his 40s, was left so shaken by the incident that he does not want to be identified, but he wanted to explain what happened to show how much an innocent person can be at risk in Dublin today.

“I have no criminal record. I have no involvement in anything. I just go to work to pay the bills,” he said.

“I don’t even drink or go out. I just keep myself to myself.”

He described how the sequence of shocking events unfolded.

“I delivered food in the evenings. I’m a driver by profession, and this was a night like any other,” he said.

“I had dropped an order off to a customer in the Shancastle estate at around 8.40pm and I was driving back out on to Greenfort Avenue and turning left when a car came racing toward me.

The Bullet damage done to a car when an innocent man was targeted mistakenly
The Bullet damage done to a car when an innocent man was targeted mistakenly

“I slammed on the brakes and stopped just inches away from it.

“All I could see was headlights. I couldn’t see anyone.

“Then I heard ‘bang, bang, bang’ and I just froze in the seat.

“I didn’t have time to duck or jump or anything. I just sat there stunned, and then they drove away.

“I didn’t know what was after happening. It was over in four or five seconds.

“I put my foot down on the accelerator and drove straight to the garda station.

“But as I took off I suddenly had this fear that the gunmen might see that they hadn’t killed me and come back to finish the job.

“I could see the windscreen had been hit, but I didn’t know the door had been shot and there was a bullet lodged in my seat until I got to the garda station.

“One of the detectives said someone must have been looking down on me because I was shot at from front and back and not hit.”

Three bullet casings were later found at the scene, most likely from a 9mm handgun favoured in Dublin gangland killings.

“Nobody said a word during the whole shooting. There were no threats, no demands, just gunfire,” the driver said.

“They were there to murder whoever they thought I was. I was afraid I was going to be killed.”

Still shaking from the ordeal, the man said he couldn’t work delivering food again, and his wife and family were all equally as shaken.

“I don’t know who these people are, and I don’t know who they were after, but it was me they shot at,” he said.

“I’m still getting flashbacks of it now. If I’m out driving I’m almost paranoid.”

The gun attack is being investigated by Ronanstown gardai.

While there have been no arrests and a definite motive for the gun attack has not yet been established, sources told Independent.ie that the most likely explanation was that it was the latest instalment in a bitter local feud that has been escalating in recent months.

“In all probability, the gunmen mistook this innocent delivery driver as being one of the participants in the feud – a criminal who is living in the nearby Shancastle area,” one source said.

“Tensions have been building here since the turn of the year and there have been a number of incidents.”

The most serious incident so far in the bitter dispute was when local criminal Craig Carroll was shot once in the stomach with a handgun in Chaplain’s Terrace, Clondalkin, in a late-night attack last October.

It is understood that the vendetta between Carroll (31) and his Neilstown enemies began over three years ago when Carroll’s associates were blamed for a botched machine gun attack outside Finches pub in Clondalkin against a notorious local drug dealer.

In the aftermath of the attempted murder of Carroll, gardai carried out a number of special operations in a bid to keep a lid on the warfare.

These included the arrest of three suspected gang members travelling in a stolen car on the M50 near Blanchardstown during an “intervention” into the dangerous mob’s activities.

This happened days after detectives recovered a revolver, ammunition, mobile phones and documents when they raided a property in the Shancastle area of Clondalkin.

Herald

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