Suspect arrested after eight-hour manhunt in west Dublin

Gardaí believe Dublin man went on drug-fuelled rampage, hijacking six vehicles

Eyewitness footage captures the moment that Gardaí arrest a man in connection with an armed spree in the Tallaght area of Dublin. Video: Padraig O'Reilly

 

An armed suspect who was the subject of an eight-hour manhunt in west Dublin was arrested by gardaí after running through a crowded shopping centre with a loaded machine gun.

The 37-year-old Dublin man had gone on what gardaí believe was a drug-fuelled rampage in which he hijacked six vehicles.

His actions were triggered by a domestic incident in which he attacked his partner at her home in Tallaght shortly before 6.30am.

Such was the intense Garda, media and public interest in the pursuit of the suspect that his arrest, after he ran out of Citywest Shopping Centre, was recorded by the media and passers-by.

Gardaí had circulated a detailed description of the man and warned anyone who saw him not to approach and instead to contact them.

The events came to a conclusion with no shots being fired and after scores of armed gardaí had scoured Tallaght and the surrounding areas for the suspect.

The incident began at about 6.20am on Monday when the man, who is from Tallaght and is well-known to the gardaí and to police in the UK, attacked his partner at her home on Brookview Way, Tallaght.

He took her car from the scene but soon afterwards he crashed it at nearby Russell Square in Tallaght, close to where he is originally from.

By that time the Garda had been alerted, although the man’s litany of crimes would continue for another eight hours.

After crashing his partner’s car at Russell Square, the suspect hijacked another vehicle and drove it to Whitestown Way. He abandoned the car there, in what gardaí believe was a bid to frustrate their chase of him.

Violent confrontation

He made his way on foot to the Watergate estate, where he broke into a house by smashing the glass in the front door porch. He was challenged by a man inside the property, who was at home with his daughter and grandchild at the time.

During that confrontation, the homeowner was hit in the face with what gardaí believe was the butt of the firearm the suspect was carrying.

He took his victim’s Renault car and drove it to Joel’s Restaurant on the Naas Road, a short distance away. The suspect left that vehicle in the car park of the restaurant and hijacked another vehicle, a Volvo.

He stayed in that car for a short period before driving it to a car showroom off the Naas Road, where he pointed his gun at a salesman and took a Subaru vehicle.

After driving off in that new car he, at some point, hijacked another car – an E Class Mercedes. However, by this point gardaí had tracked him and were pursuing him.

When the tyres of the Mercedes were burst with stinger devices applied by gardaí across a roadway near Citywest, the suspect abandoned the car and fled on foot.

Shopping centre showdown

He eventually ran into Citywest Shopping Centre, carrying his loaded firearm. Armed gardaí chased him into the shopping centre.

When he ran through the premises and out the other side, he appeared startled to see a large group of people, including members of the media and gardaí, there. He paused for a moment and was tackled to the ground and subdued by the pursuing armed gardaí.

He was taken away in handcuffs after a short struggle. He was being questioned in Tallaght Garda station on Monday night.

A quantity of drugs, believed to be cocaine, were found on his person during his arrest.

Gardaí suspect the man had gone on a drink and drug-fuelled weekend binge, and also became involved in an altercation in Tallaght on Saturday night.

However, the confrontation with his partner effectively began the series of armed incidents that would last for eight hours.