| 11.9°C Dublin

'He could have put a bullet in me' - Mum who chased gunman

Close

Gardai examine the front door

Gardai examine the front door

Gardai examine the front door

A woman who saw her partner being shot in their living room has told of her terror and said she could easily have been killed.

Gardai have launched a manhunt for the masked gunman after the late-night attack in Coolock.

The attacker burst through the front door of the house at Belcamp Crescent and singled out John Gavin (45) as he sat in a chair.

There were 13 children sleeping in the house at the time of the attack.

The gunman fired a number of shots before fleeing the scene.

Mr Gavin was taken to hospital, where he was treated for a shattered leg.

Close

Gardai examine the front door, which is now covered in fingerprint dust

Gardai examine the front door, which is now covered in fingerprint dust

Gardai examine the front door, which is now covered in fingerprint dust

As members of the Garda Technical Bureau carried out a forensic examination of the house, Annmarie McDonagh told the Herald of the events that have left her shaking with fear.

Balaclava

"We'd just finished a Chinese takeaway. Our eight kids were in bed and we had five more of my brother's because he has come back from England for a funeral and we were minding them.

"The kids were all asleep and I was just about to go to bed because I was tired and the next thing the front door burst in.

Close

The gunman repeatedly shot 45-year-old John Gavin

The gunman repeatedly shot 45-year-old John Gavin

The gunman repeatedly shot 45-year-old John Gavin

"I jumped up with the fright. I didn't know what was happening. John got a fright, too. The next thing I knew, this man appeared in the doorway in a balaclava and dark clothes.

"He pointed a gun at John and fired three or four times," said a tearful Annmarie.

"John fell to the ground and the man ran out the door. I had no shoes on and I ran out after him shouting all the time.

"I was in absolute shock. I kept shouting at him. I don't even remember what he was saying.

"He ran all the way up the road and across the hill and the green and I saw him jump into a car at the top of the road and speed away.

"I'm only realising now that he could have turned around and put a bullet in me. He could have shot me dead. That thought has only hit me now and I am shaking since."

Annmarie said John was treated by neighbours and ambulance crews at the scene before being taken to Beaumont Hospital.

"His lower right leg is shattered. The bullet went in one side and out the other and hit the bone," she said.

"He's in plaster now and might have to get his leg put in a cage to support it. We don't know yet. I only saw him briefly this morning.

"We have no idea why this happened but it looks like it was very organised, which is frightening. There had to be a good few of them between drivers and everything. Gardai told me they seized two cars.

"John has no enemies. I don't know why this happened. He hasn't told me anything at all about being in any trouble with anyone."

Gardai in Coolock are investigating the shooting.

Yesterday morning, teams of officers searched the house and carried out a forensic examination of the scene.

Shotgun

Fingerprint dust could be seen on the front door and frame, as well as the frame of the living room door.

Annmarie said a handgun was used in the attack. "It was a small gun, not a shotgun."

A blue BMW car was later found partially burned out in the Greenwood Walk estate about 2km away.

"I heard voices on the street and then I could hear bangs and, when I looked out, there was a car on fire," said one local resident.

"Then there was a series of more bangs and explosions."

A second car, a black Volkswagen Golf with a 99 C-registration was seized by gardai in the North Strand area of the city.

Mr Gavin's injuries are described as serious but not life-threatening.

The gunman, who is described as 5ft 7in tall, was wearing a balaclava, a blue hoodie and black gloves and runners.

Gardai are keeping an open mind as to the possible motive for the attack but sources say they are investigating if the shooting might be over a disagreement or localised feud.

They are waiting to speak to Mr Gavin when he is well enough.

Officers are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information, particularly those who may have seen the BMW or the Volkswagen prior to or after the shooting.

They should contact Coolock Garda Station on 01 6664200, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111 or any garda station.


Privacy