Garda who shot himself in the head fights for life
A YOUNG garda was fighting for his life today after shooting himself in the head. Adrian Hickey is understood to have sat down in the back garden of his partner's home before shooting himself with his own pistol.
Loved-ones were today holding a vigil by his bedside in Kerry General Hospital -- where the popular officer was in a critical condition.
The shooting happened at around 4am on Sunday, in the garden of a house near Tralee.
Garda Hickey, who is his thirties, is believed to have fired a single bullet into his head using a legally held garda firearm.
He had just finished his shift a few hours previously and entered the back garden of his girlfriend's house in the Lisard estate, just outside Tralee.
He is then understood to have sat down and shot himself with his SIG Sauer service weapon.
His long-term partner is believed to have found Garda Hickey in the garden before raising the alarm.
He was rushed to Kerry General Hospital and was today fighting for his life.
A team of investigators arrived in the town to investigate the incident, but they do not believe it to be suspicious.
The young garda is stationed in Tralee, but is originally from Co Cork. He serves as a plain clothes officer in the Kerry Divisional Drugs Unit, having began his career in 2006.
His family were believed to be by his bedside today in the hospital's intensive care unit.
Garda Hickey's father Ted is a retired member of the force, having served in Cork City.
The incident has plunged his community into complete shock as Garda Hickey is very popular.
A local source said: "We're just praying that Adrian recovers. The whole area has been left numb with shock."
The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission has confirmed that it is investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.
In a statement, the body said: "The incident happened at around 4am. The commission does not believe there were suspicious circumstances related to the incident."
Like all drugs unit gardai, Garda Hickey was legally entitled to carry a pistol. Garda authorities allow officers to carry firearms home with them when they finish their shift.