Wednesday 20 June 2018

'I saw the black car drive in and then 10 minutes later I heard one gun shot' - man who heard shooting of Jastine's suspected abductor

The black Nissan Qashqai driven by Mark Hennessy is surrounded by unmarked garda vehicles after he was spotted in Cherrywood and shot by armed officers. Photo: Arthur Carron
The black Nissan Qashqai driven by Mark Hennessy is surrounded by unmarked garda vehicles after he was spotted in Cherrywood and shot by armed officers. Photo: Arthur Carron

Laura Lynott

A SECURITY guard was the last to see a black jeep believed to have been the car used to abduct a young woman and he told how ten minutes later "I heard one gunshot."

Hanu Vasile saw the black Nissan SUV gardai had been searching for after the disappearance of 24-year-old student Justine Valdez, at around 7pm last night.  "Ten minutes later I heard a gun shot," he said.

Mr Vasile, who monitors traffic going in an out of the Cherrywood Business Park, told Independent.ie his friend called him on his phone after he saw the black jeep - believed to have been driven by the man who abducted Miss Valdez from Enniskerry, Co Wicklow - entering the business park where he works.

“Half seven everything was happening," Mr Vasile said.

"I saw the black car drive in and then 10 minutes later I heard one gun shot."

Mr Vasille, from Romania, but who lives in the city centre, added: "I was here inside...(the security checkpoint) - I heard the gunshot.”

Jastine Valdez missing
Jastine Valdez missing

"I knew it was a gunshot, it was very noisy.”

The security guard said he'd heard the story of the young student's disappearance and that gardai were looking for the car but he didn't click when he saw it until his friend phoned him and when he heard the gunshot.

The car drove though the security point and turned right into the grounds of a local business.

Mr Vasile said he believed an undercover garda car had followed the black jeep into the business park and that shortly after the shot went off a large number of garda cars turned up at the scene.

Mr Vasile said he'd never witnessed anything such as what had happened only a short distance from where he worked before.

And gardai had not yet been to examine the footage that he had which would have captured the black jeep but he expected them to be looking at this soon.

Meanwhile a number of residents and motorists stopped to see the area after they'd heard the news.

"We live nearby and we had to come to see, it's tragic if that man had that young girl.  We are all just in shock this happened here," one mother said.

20/5/18 A man being sought in relation to the disappearance of student Jastine Valdez has been shot during an armed garda operation this evening.Gardai had been searching for the driver of a black Nissan jeep in relation to the disappearance of the 24-year-old.. Picture:Arthur Carron
20/5/18 A man being sought in relation to the disappearance of student Jastine Valdez has been shot during an armed garda operation this evening.Gardai had been searching for the driver of a black Nissan jeep in relation to the disappearance of the 24-year-old.. Picture:Arthur Carron

"We were here earlier and some young people said they heard a shot but they have gone. We dread to think what happened the girl," another woman said.

A number of people were taking photos on their phones as a large garda presence  attended the scene.

Sniffer dogs were checking land around the business park and traffic was moved off the side of the road nearby, as people tried to get close to the scene.

Diversions were in place and the public were moved from near the area late last night.

It was believed the body left the scene shortly before 9.30pm.

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