Friday 20 July 2018

Frenchman fights for life after 'drugs link' shooting

Forensic gardai at the scene of the shooting in Richmond Hill, Fassaroe, Bray, Co Wicklow, and, inset, taking fingerprints at a second
related crime scene in Ledwidge Cresent. Photo: GARRY O'NEILL
Forensic gardai at the scene of the shooting in Richmond Hill, Fassaroe, Bray, Co Wicklow, and, inset, taking fingerprints at a second related crime scene in Ledwidge Cresent. Photo: GARRY O'NEILL

Tom Brady Security Editor

A Frenchman was on a life support machine in hospital last night after being shot in the head at his apartment.

Two shotguns were subsequently recovered in a cemetery half-a-mile from the scene of the shooting in Bray, Co Wicklow.

Officers believe the 32-year-old victim, Charles Sinanapayen, may have been hit because of his links to a local drug trafficker, who is currently on the run from the gardai and thought to be hiding out in the Alicante area of Spain.

Last night he was fighting for his life at Beaumont hospital while his partner, Mary Kinlan, who slept through the incident, was being cared for by friends and neighbours.

Mr Sinanapayen was not known to the gardai and had no criminal record here or in France.

He was shot shortly after 1am yesterday as he looked out the second-floor window of his apartment in a complex in Richmond Hill in the Fassaroe area of Bray. Two shots were fired.

Escape

The victim was hit at close range in the head and two men were seen running from the complex, before making their escape in a silver coloured car.

Gardai were alerted and forced their way into the house through the front door.

Mr Sinanapayen was rushed by ambulance to Loughlinstown hospital but was later transferred to Beaumont where his condition last night was described as critical.

Gardai sealed off the area as they awaited the arrival of forensic experts, who carried out an in-depth examination of the scene throughout the day.

Mr Sinanapayen is from Bordeaux and has been living here for the past three years.

Detectives carried out a number of searches in the immediate area and recovered two shotguns, which had been hidden in St Peter's Cemetery.

Ballistic tests were being carried out last night to establish if the guns had been used in the shooting.

One of the suspects seen running from the scene was described as wearing a blue baseball cap, a black jacket, light-grey tracksuit bottoms, white runners and was of average build.

The second suspect wore a black top, possibly a hoodie, black tracksuit bottoms, black shoes and was of average built.

Gardai said last night they were examining a number of lines of inquiry to establish a firm motive for the shooting.

Mr Sinanapayen has connections to the drug trafficker but is not involved in his activities.

Gardai said he could have been hit mistakenly by the gunmen or the shooting was intended as a warning to the drugs boss, who is wanted on a warrant.

They are also investigating the possibility that he could have fallen foul of a rival drugs gang.

Further inquiries are being carried out to find out if there is any link between yesterday's incident and three previous shootings in the Fassaroe estate this year.

Anybody with information about the shooting has been asked to contact Bray gardai on 01 6665300, or on the confidential line, 1800 666111.

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