Gardai in Dublin have launched a major investigation after the 64-year-old retired truck driver was murdered in the Walkinstown area of the city last night.
A hunt was underway for the gunman responsible for the first gun murder of the year.
The victim, who has been named locally as Edward Nugent, was blasted three times outside his home on Harty Avenue.
The gun attack took place shortly before 9.30pm and it is understood he suffered three gunshot wounds to the chest.
There were several bullet holes visible in the front door window of a house following the attack. A couple living nearby spoke of their shock and horror last night at the brutal killing.
“We heard two shots. I thought it was a car backfiring. It was very loud,” said the man.
“I saw the flashing lights of the fire brigade and ambulance and police cars and then I knew something was very wrong.
“We are all very shocked. They are a lovely family, very helpful, very decent people. It might have been a case of mistaken identity,” the man said.
Mr Nugent and his wife Ann have a number of children.
“He was a brilliant neighbour. When we moved here 10 years ago, we were told the people to get in touch for help were Edward and Ann,” said a shocked local woman.
“The first I heard he had been shot tonight was when the gardai arrived. This is terrible. Only five years ago, a man was shot on Bunting Road, which is only a few hundred yards away.
“They are good people, nice people. He worked as a truck driver but had retired due to ill health. He had back problems.
“He has never been in any trouble and his children were never in any trouble growing up. God forgive whoever did it,” she said.
The type of firearm used in the attack is not yet known.
Emergency services rushed to the scene and Mr Nugent was rushed to St James’s Hospital. He was pronounced dead a short time later at 10pm.
A burned-out car believed to have been used by the gunman was found by gardai at John McCormack Avenue, a short distance from the scene of the murder.
Two scenes – where the gun attack occurred and where the car was recovered – have been preserved by gardai for technical examinations.
Officers from Crumlin Garda Station were last night attempting to establish a motive for the shooting incident.
It is understood that the victim was not known to gardai and
no firm cause for the shooting has been established.
Door-to-door enquiries will continue in the Walkinstown area today and a post-mortem examination on the deceased will also take place.
It is the third murder to take place in the country this year and the first gun-related death.