Suspected feud shooting: Victim 'wearing a bulletproof vest' which may have saved his life
THE MAN shot a number of times at a petrol station in north Dublin this afternoon is understood to have been wearing a bullet-proof vest which may have saved his life.
The attack happened the Topaz petrol station in Clonshaugh, North Dublin at approximately 1.35pm.
It is understood the man was shot a number of times, but that he was able to speak when emergency services arrived at the scene within minutes of the shooting.
He has been taken to Beaumont Hospital under a heavy armed guard, but his condition has not been confirmed.
Gardai believe that the attack is related to the ongoing Kinahan-Hutch feud, and that the victim is a long-standing target of the Kinahan cartel.
The victim - who is in his late 20s - is a close associate of the Hutch family. He has escaped a number of previous attempts on his life and was questioned by gardaí over the Regency Hotel shooting in February 2016. It is understood he had been living in Newry, but he is originally from Dublin's north inner city.
Today, it is understood the victim was sitting in a Northern Ireland-registered Ford car at the petrol station when the gunman approached. The victim got out of the car and was shot a number of times, including in the chest. A nurse at the scene was able to assist to his injuries before the emergency services arrived.
The victim was formerly associated with members of the Kinahan faction along with his friend Gary Hutch whose murder in Marbella in September 2015 sparked the ongoing feud.
Following Gary Hutch’s murder, gardai believe today's victim re-connected with the Hutch faction fearing he too would be murdered by the Kinahan mob. He is believed to be a silent partner in a number of businesses in the north inner city.
Gardai are initially focusing today's search on a black Lexus car spotted leaving the scene.
Local TD Noel Rock said he was shocked to learn of this latest attack.
"This is a terrible incident in broad daylight in a busy local petrol station. These incidents are becoming too regular and too frequent and need to be tackled with the full force of the law."
Gardai wish to appeal for witnesses or to anyone with information to contact Ballymun Garda Station on 016664400, The Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.
A witness told RTE Radio One's Liveline that gardaí were on the scene within minutes.
"I was on the road and I heard 'bang, bang'," he said. "Next thing I heard ambulances and guards. Next thing the whole place was covered.
"I didn't see anyone," he continued.
"I just heard 'bang, bang' and people were running everywhere. There were guards everywhere. They were on the scene within two minutes."
More to follow