Two cousins shot dead at a Dublin petrol station in a case of mistaken identity had gone to the shop to buy sweets, an inquest heard.
Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane described the deaths of Mark Noonan (23) from Rathbourne Drive, Cabra, Dublin 7 and Glen Murphy (19) of Drumalee Drive, North Circular Road, Dublin 7 as an "indescribable tragedy".
The two young men left Mr Noonan's partner's apartment to buy snacks and cigarettes on the night of November 23 2010, Dublin Coroner's Court heard. They had pulled into the Tesco Clearwater petrol station in Finglas when they were shot.
Both sustained multiple gunshot wounds and died at the scene.
Tesco worker Mary O’Brien said she was working in the petrol station when a grey car pulled up to the hatch and a man got out around 11.40pm.
“He asked for twenty John Player Blue. With that I heard a bang. He fell on his back on the ground,” she said. Ms O’Brien ran to call security.
“When I heard the bang I realised straight away that someone had been shot and I panicked. It was only afterwards I found out about the second man,” she said.
Mark Noonan’s partner Antoinette Kiernan said she’d given him her phone and bankcard to pick up provisions including popcorn. She and Mr Murphy’s partner stayed behind in the apartment. They received a call from Glen to say the card was not working and that was the last they heard from them.
“Lisa and I were in the apartment for ages and we hadn’t heard from them. I just thought they were messing,” she said. They later got a call notifying them of a shooting in Finglas.
Security worker Feliks Adrianov was in the canteen when he got a radio call reporting a shooting at the Tesco garage at 11.50pm. He saw six to seven bullet holes in the windscreen of a Toyota Avensis car and a body lying across the front seats. He saw a second man lying on his back on the ground near the shop counter.
Another security worker saw a dark BMW 5 series approach the filling station and heard shots before the car left at speed. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.
Detective Inspector Des McTiernan said 300 witnesses were interviewed and two people were arrested as part of the Garda investigation, which remains “very much open”.
“As to motive we still have an open mind but we know for certain that Mark and Glen were innocent victims in a case of mistaken identity. They were not the intended targets,” he said.
The jury returned two verdicts of unlawful killing by person or persons unknown. Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said this was a very difficult inquest. “That it was a case of mistaken identity must make it even more difficult to bear,” she said.