Gardaí continue to treat pizza-shop shooting as a botched robbery

Teenager released without charge on Wednesday; man (44) remains in custody

Gardaí at the scene of a shooting at Mizzoni’s takeaway in Edenmore, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Gardaí at the scene of a shooting at Mizzoni’s takeaway in Edenmore, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Gardaí in Raheny are continuing to treat the shooting of two fast food workers on Monday as a botched robbery.

Ionut Dateu (38) and Vasile Bitica (28) were both shot in the chest while they worked in Mizzoni’s Pizza in Edenmore, Raheny, Dublin 5.

The gunman cycled to the take-away, demanded money and opened fire at 12.22am on New Year’s Day. A short time later a 44 year old man and a 16 year old boy were arrested nearby. Both suspects live near the premises.

The elder man is suspected in a series of robberies in the area and has a substantial criminal record. He remained in custody on Wednesday night under Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act 1939. He can be held for up to 72 hours.

The teenager was released on Wednesday morning and gardaí are preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The shooting is still being treated as an attempted robbery to get money for drugs but gardaí are “keeping an open mind”, sources said. Investigators have obtained clear CCTV footage showing the gunman arriving and leave the scene.

Gardaí have not discounted the possibility the attack was a targeted shooting but there is no indication the victims, who are both from Romania, or the premises are connected to criminality.

Mr Bitica, a cook in the restaurant, underwent a successful operation to treat the gunshot wound to his stomach on Tuesday night and remains in Beaumont Hospital. Mr Dateu, who is a relative of the owner of the takeaway, sustained a less serious wound to his chest and also remains in hospital.

Mr Bitica told The Irish Daily Star newspaper the gunman entered the restaurant and shot him before throwing a bag over the counter and demanding money.

The victim told the newspaper: “When Ionut tried to make him leave somehow, immediately he shot him too - screaming he would shoot us all.”

The gunman then shot Mr Dateu before fleeing on a bicycle with no money. It is understood there was a “modest” amount of money on the premises at the time.

Gardaí are continuing to appeal for witnesses or anyone with information to contact Coolock Garda station on 01 666 4200, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 11 or any Garda station.