A MAN who shot himself in his 4x4 had been questioned by gardai about the alleged rape of a prostitute.
A shot was fired in the air before David Kelly apparently took his own life at the wheel of his Hyundai Santa Fe in Drogheda, Co Louth.
Mr Kelly was a separated father who worked for Glanbia in Drogheda. He was in his 30s.
He had recently been quizzed in relation to a rape allegation made by a prostitute who had arranged to meet a man at a local hotel.
Gardai were preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the alleged incident.
But now the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission is investigating the circumstances of Mr Kelly's death.
It is doing this as a matter of procedure as the gardai had "interacted" with Mr Kelly and tried to stop his vehicle shortly before the shooting.
Gardai had initially moved to stop the Hyundai at around 5am when it was seen travelling at speed at the Haymarket Bridge in Drogheda.
But it is understood that officers saw a shotgun clearly on view in the vehicle.
After initially stopping for gardai, Mr Kelly left the scene at speed and travelled down the Dublin road.
A short time later his vehicle was seen driving back towards Drogheda and the gardai followed it at a distance.
The 4x4 drove to the North Strand, which is a quiet street close to the quays in Drogheda, and parked there.
A patrol car pulled up on the North Strand but two shots were discharged from the Hyundai.
It is understood that the shots were not fired in the direction of gardai.
The garda car left the scene and support from the armed garda Regional Support Unit was requested.
But when the armed gardai approached the 4x4 they discovered the lifeless body of Mr Kelly, who lived in the Gragegarth estate in the town.
It is understood he was the owner of a firearms licence.
State Pathologist Marie Cassidy was asked to carry out a post-mortem.
The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission has appealed for any witnesses to make contact with it.
A spokesperson said it was "looking for anyone who may have seen a silver Santa Fe jeep parked on the North Strand, Drogheda, between the hours of approximately 5am and 7am to contact us at 1890 600 800".
The spokesperson added: "The incident has been referred to the Garda Ombudsman by the Garda Commissioner in accordance with section 102 of the Garda Siochana Act, 2005.
"The referral was made to the Garda Ombudsman because there had been some interaction between gardai and the deceased prior to the discovery of his body."