Gunman shoots cyclist before accidentally shooting himself
A CYCLIST was shot in the stomach by a gunman who then accidentally shot himself in front of rush hour traffic.
Charles O’Neill (52), from Ballymun, was cycling along Glasnevin Avenue in Dublin when he was shot by a man armed with a shotgun this morning.
The gunman emerged as O’Neill – who is known locally as ‘The Walrus’ – cycled along the street and shot him from close range.
As O’Neill was left wounded on the road, the gunman attempted to escape the scene.
However another shot was discharged and the assailant wounded himself.
The Herald understands he accidentally shot himself in the leg with the shotgun he used to wound O’Neill.
The gun attack took place just after 8am at a bus stop where city commuters had gathered. It is understood O’Neill was shot once in the stomach.
The gunman, who is aged in his 20s and from Finglas, attempted to escape down a laneway beside the bus stop towards Hillcrest Park but managed to shoot himself after opening fire at his intended target.
He was found shortly afterwards by responding gardai.
Both O’Neill and the injured man have been brought to separate hospitals by paramedics where they are being treated for the gunshot injuries.
While investigations are at an early stage, it is believed the incident is linked to a criminal dispute.
It is understood that nobody else is being sought in connection with the double shooting.
A 45-year-old local man told the Herald, he was bringing his daughter to a crèche this morning at around 8.15 when he heard shooting.
“It was two shots. They sounded louder than bangers so I knew they must be gunshots,” he said.
Gardai were at the scene very quickly and arrived before ambulance crews.
“I could see when I got to where the shooting happened, a man was lying in the front garden of a house and there were men standing around him blocking my view,” said the man.
“There were bicycles lying on the ground and the man who was shot was regularly seen on his bicycle on the area, usually with one or two others on bikes,” he said.
“When the ambulance came he was carried out of the front garden on a stretcher. He wasn’t making any sound,” he said.
Three bicycles were lying on the ground behind the Garda cordon and there were reports that another bicycle used by the gunman was found nearby.
Gardai at Ballymun appeal for witnesses to call them today at 01-6664400.
There were no arrests this morning.
By Alan O’Keeffe and Ken Foy