Notorious Dublin gangster Gary Hutch was shot in the head and chest as he tried to flee from a masked assassin.
Hutch (34) was trying to escape out of a back exit at the gated Costa del Sol estate where he lived when he was cornered and shot dead yesterday.
The gangster was murdered after a dramatic chase round the communal swimming pool of the Angel de Miraflores apartment complex, near Marbella in Spain.
The dead man is a nephew of former criminal Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch.
The first shots were reportedly fired around 11.30am in the underground car park. Hutch is believed to have been shot twice in the back, but managed to flee.
Spanish Police Forensica at The Crime Scene at The "Angle" apartment complex in Mirarflores
The masked assassin then chased him down before shooting him in the chest and head.
Witnesses told police the gunman ran away before slowing to a walk on a steep hill leading out of the complex.
He then escaped in a stolen BMW which was later found gutted outside a restaurant in Cabopino, a 10-minute drive west towards Marbella.
Hutch had links to the feared Kinahan crime cartel and has survived previous attempts on his life.
It is understood that family members of the victim had been approached in Dublin recently by a thug who made threats against his life.
The family had been “living in dread” of getting bad news, it’s believed.
Friends were last night calling Hutch’s family in Ireland, who were “in floods of tears”.
Meanwhile, police in Spain are examining footage from CCTV cameras in the area including cameras inside the complex.
The killer has been described as a tall man in jeans and a black tracksuit top. He was wearing a balaclava and gloves.
Neighbours say the first shots rang out in the underground car park before Hutch was chased out of the garage and round a nearby garden before being killed at the south west corner of the pool.
Police extracted several bullets from the walls of two apartment blocks next to the pool.
A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “We heard the first shots go off in the garage and then saw this man running around the garden where the swimming pool is with a balaclava on and gloves.
“We thought at first it was a terrorist. There were lots of shots, around a dozen, and then we saw him running away.”
Another described the victim as someone who was “pleasant but kept himself to himself”.
“There was a woman living with him who I imagine was his girlfriend but she hasn’t been around of late,” she added.
“They arrived to find a man had been shot dead and the suspected gunman had fled.”
It was a lifeguard at the complex who told Spanish authorities that Hutch lived in an apartment there, though he did not know him personally.
“I was the one who identified him. He lives in a ground-floor flat but I don’t know his name or much about him. “He’s very reserved,” the man said.
“The gunman was masked and wore gloves. He started shooting in the garage before chasing his victim out into the pool,” he added.
Another British ex-pat, whose flat overlooks the pool, told of his horror.
“I didn’t see anything, but it makes me terrified to think something like this can happen round here,” he said.
“It’s like something out of a film. I’ve heard the pool was empty at the time. If it had been midday in August it could have been a bloodbath.
“The police have taken bullets out of the walls of an apartment block round the pool. I shudder to think what would have happened if one had gone through a window.
“They’ve just put new CCTV in, so hopefully they’ve got whoever did it on camera,” he added.
Hutch has survived two previous attempts on his life.
He is believed to have been the intended target of the bullet that hit innocent boxing pundit Jamie Moore in August 2014 near Estepona.
Gardai received intelligence that Hutch was attending a party at a house and was the intended target of the shooting.
Moore was shot at five times – and hit twice, in the leg and the foot – outside the home of notorious Irish criminal Christy Kinahan’s son Daniel.
The attempted murder led to Daniel Kinahan seeking police protection.
Hutch is the second Irish gangster to be murdered in Spain in the space of a year.
Criminal Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh (44) was gunned down in an Irish bar in Elviria, near Marbella in September 2014.