Injured dog sought after garda’s gun discharged in Co Longford

Detective sergeant to face Gsoc inquiry for shooting man in leg during confrontation

Warning: video contains graphic footage. A man in his late 20s has sustained a wound to his leg during an incident in Co.Longford. It is understood he was shot with a garda issued Sig Sauer handgun.

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Investigators are searching for a dog which was injured during a incident in Co Longford on Monday in which the animal’s owner was shot by a detective.

The garda sergeant fired his official Sig Sauer handgun during a confrontation with members of a family at their home at Ferriskill, between Granard and Edgeworthstown, shortly before 5pm. The bullet hit a 28-year-old man in the leg. His dog, an Alsatian, was also injured by the same shot.

The man was taken to Midlands Hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. As of last night the animal, which ran off, had not been located.

A video showing part of the incident, including the shooting, was in wide circulation online on Tuesday.

Gardaí are satisfied the video is genuine and it is to form part of their inquiries. It will also form part of an expected investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc).

Dangerous dogs

Members of the force have been regular visitors to the home where the incident took place. Longford gardaí executed a search warrant at the family’s home in March 2016 while backed up by heavily armed members of the Armed Response Unit. The man was later convicted in the District Court of obstructing a member of the Garda during the search.

The video of Monday’s incident, which appears to have been taken by the man’s wife, shows the plain-clothes garda in a confrontation with the male. The male appears to be trying to keep the door of a vehicle open while the occupant of the truck and the garda attempt to close it.

At one stage, the male lunges at the occupant of the truck causing him to recoil. The garda is then pulled downwards by his tie, but it is not clear who is pulling the tie. The garda can heard saying “get her to let go”.

Weapon fired

At this point, he fires his weapon and the woman taking the video starts screaming and saying “You’ve shot my husband.”

Gsoc is expected to interview the detective sergeant and to examine his weapon. He has been a member of the force for more than 20 years and was recently approved for promotion to the rank of inspector.

Sources in Gsoc said any investigation is likely to focus on whether the incident fulfilled the three criteria necessary to sanction the use of lethal force.

Before using their firearm, a garda must be satisfied their own life or the life of another is in serious and immediate danger. This is a subjective test, meaning it depends on what the garda themselves believed at the time. The use of force must also be “proportionate”, meaning no other less lethal measures were applicable, and it must be “lawful”.

“In order that the discharge of firearms may be justified in any particular case, it must be shown that the intention of the member firing was to achieve a legal purpose and that all other means of achieving this purpose had been exhausted before firing,” the code states.

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