Wednesday 23 January 2019

US student caught in crossfire in botched boxing ‘hit’ as gardai investigate incident as attempted murder

  • Families scrambled for cover
  • One victim shot in the foot, the other in the arm
  • Injuries are not life threatening
Scene of the shooting outside the National Boxing Arena on the South Circular Road
Scene of the shooting outside the National Boxing Arena on the South Circular Road

Tom Brady, Ken Foy and Ian Begley

An innocent student was shot and another man injured as gang violence erupted on to the capital’s streets outside a youth boxing event.

Families scrambled for cover as gunshots rang out just yards away from the National Stadium, where an under-18s tournament was being held.

A car pulled up and two men – one wearing a ski mask and the other a balaclava – jumped out of the vehicle and opened fire on their target.

One of the men injured in the incident was believed to have been singled out because of an association with members of the Hutch family.

However, the other is understood to be an innocent American student, who got caught in the gunfire, which happened a stone’s throw from Griffith College on the South Circular Road.

One of the victims was hit in the foot and the second in the arm.

One was rushed to nearby St James’s Hospital while the other was treated at the scene.

Their injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

Gardai have confirmed to that the incident is being treated as attempted murder.

The attack happened at 9.45pm outside the National Stadium where a member of the Hutch family, who has no connection to crime, was due to fight today.

Gardaí had already put a security plan in place for today’s boxing match – including an earlier weigh-in time, which was due to be heavily policed.

However, it is believed that last night’s attempted murder was a pre-emptive strike.

Art O’Brien, secretary of the IABA, was on stage inside the stadium at the time of the shooting.

He said: “Some people were panicking and running, people ran from one side of the stage to the other.

“We calmed the kids down then after that, and put the event off until tomorrow.

“It was nothing to do with the boxing and nothing to do with anyone in the ring.”

Another man said: “I thought they were firecrackers at first. I later heard that the man was being shot at as he ran down the street.”

The intended target is a career criminal in his mid-40s who has multiple previous convictions, including for armed robbery and drug offences.

Shortly after the shooting, gardaí found a Mercedes car burnt out at Dunsink in Finglas and a Lexus burnt out at Ferndale, on the west side of the city.

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