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Man was shot after he saw 'hit', inquest jury hears

A FATHER of two who witnessed a suspected gangland 'hit' was not fully upright when he was shot and may have been taking evasive or defensive actions, an inquest heard.

Edward Ward (24) was gunned down along with car dealer Brian Downes (40) in 2007.

A jury at Dublin County Coroner's Court returned verdicts of unlawful killing at an inquest yesterday, under the direction of coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty.

Mr Ward (24) of Kilmahuddrick Road, Dublin 22, and Mr Downes were shot dead at Downes' garage on the Greenhills Road, in Walkinstown, on October 5, 2007.

Mr Downes was shot eight times -- once in the head and seven times in the body -- the state pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy said. Mr Ward was shot twice and died of a gunshot wound to the body.

Professor Cassidy said it was possible that the gunshot injury to Mr Downes' head was a contact wound and agreed with the coroner that it would reinforce the suggestion that he was the "primary target".

"He may have been shot (in the head) after he had fallen down," Dr Geraghty said.

Prof Cassidy said Mr Ward was not fully upright and may have been taking evasive or defensive actions.

Det Supt Brian Sutton, who is leading the garda investigation, said one of the men may have been an intended target and the other person was felt to be a witness and so was shot too.

The inquest heard that Mr Ward's wife Jodie was in her husband's car nearby.


Mrs Ward, who did not attend the inquest, heard "noises like fireworks", followed by a revving sound, but was unaware that the shooting had occurred until Mr Downes' mother came out, "covered in blood" and said: "My son is after being shot."

"I ran into the yard. I could see Brian on the ground. I shouted out, 'Edward, Brian has been shot!' I looked down and Edward was at my feet. His eyes were half open," Mrs Ward said in a statement read out in court.

The garda investigation into the double homicide is ongoing.

A motorcycle, which gardai believe was used by the culprits, was recovered from the Grand Canal two months after the shooting and a number of arrests were made.

CCTV footage shows a motorbike arriving at the scene and a pillion passenger dismounting before leaving. But there has been insufficient evidence to present a file to the DPP, Det Supt Sutton said.

Irish Independent