GARY Hutch was trying to escape out of a back exit on the gated Costa del Sol estate where he lived when he was cornered and shot in the head and chest, it emerged today.
The Dublin gangster was trapped when he found a door leading onto waste ground behind the complex locked after a dramatic chase round the communal swimming pool.
He had already been shot twice in the back according to local reports.
The masked assassin shot him in the chest after cornering the 34-year-old before shooting him in the head.
Last night witnesses told police how they saw the gunman run away before slowing to a walk on a steep hill leading out of the complex in Miraflores near Fuengirola as the effect of the chase and kill took hold and he began to tire.
He escaped the scene of the shooting - a sprawling complex of five-storey apartment blocks set around a pool - in a stolen BMW which was later found gutted outside a restaurant in Cabopino a 10-minute drive west towards Marbella.
Police are examining footage from CCTV cameras in the area including cameras inside the complex where Hutch was living.
The killer has been described as a tall strong man dressed in jeans and a black tracksuit top. As well as a balaclava, he was wearing gloves.
Neighbours say the first shots rang out in the underground car park beneath the block the dead Irishman had been living in for the past few months.
He was chased out of the garage and round the complex garden before being killed by the south west corner of the pool.
Police extracted several bullets from the walls of two apartment blocks next to the pool.
It was reported locally the ground-floor flat Hutch was living in belongs to his mother. Officials would not confirm the reports.
The killing happened just after 11.30am yesterday at a complex called Angel de Miraflores.
The Miraflores resort lies between the towns of Fuengirola and Marbella, just off the N340 dual carriageway which runs along the Costa del Sol and very near to missing Amy Fitzpatrick's mum Audrey's old home.
A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “We heard the first shots go off in the garage under our home and then saw this man running around the garden where the swimming pool is with a balaclava on and gloves.
“We thought at first it was a terrorist. There were lots of shots, around a dozen, and then we saw him running away.”
Another described the victim as someone who was “pleasant but kept himself to himself.”
She added: “There was a woman living with him who I imagine was his girlfriend but she hasn’t been around of late.”
Hutch’s murder brought the number of deaths linked to organised crime to four already this year on the Costa del Sol.
Last week a 30-year-old Colombian was shot dead as he sat in his wife’s Golf GTI in nearby Las Lagunas heading towards Fuengirola.
A man on a motorbike driven by an accomplice shot him seven times before making his getaway.
At the end of May, the Civil Guard found the body of a man in a flat near Miraflores three days after a shoot-out close by between drugs traffickers.
His hands had been tied behind his back and he had been shot in the chest and leg.
Police evacuated an apartment complex in the same area - Riviera del Sol which is next to Miraflores where Hutch was shot dead - at the start of this month after the discovery of a car with weapons inside including a Kalashnikov, mortars and grenades.
The BMW had been parked in a garage underneath the block for around a month.
Last weekend police revealed they had arrested a gang of contract killers hired by a Colombian drugs cartel in La Cala de Mijas a 10 minute drive from the spot where Hutch was killed.
The seven detainees included two minors. They were accused of travelling from Madrid to the Costa del Sol to murder a businessman and two bodyguards for €90,000.
Hutch, who has links to the Kinahan drug mob, is believed to have been the intended target of the bullet that hit innocent boxing pundit Jamie Moore last August near Estepona.
A Spanish court recently closed its inquiry into the killing of Irish gangster Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh after failing to find out who had gunned him down outside Harmons Irish Bar in Elviria near Marbella last September.
Two gunmen shot him nine times before fleeing in a car they torched down the road.
Spanish police probed possible links to the botched shooting of Jamie Moore.
Miguel Briones, a central government representative in Malaga, said investigators were probing whether Hutch’s shooting was linked to any of the organised crime-linked killings over the past year including the one on September 17.
Spain’s National Police are understood to be examining the getaway car Hutch’s killer used because it was found in an area they and not the Civil Guard are responsible for.
The Civil Guard are probing the murder because Miraflores is their patch.
Mr Briones said: “The police and Civil Guard are persevering in their attempts to clarify these crimes in the same small geographic area.”
A spokesman for the Civil Guard in Malaga, which is usually reticent in making any official statements about crimes of this type, said: “I can confirm a person has been killed but we are not making any official statement at this time and I doubt we will for the moment.”