Mark Hennessy died from a single shot while sitting in car

Gardaí issue photo of Jastine Valdez bag as search for her belongings continues


Mark Hennessy was fatally shot by an armed garda once in the upper body while sitting in his car, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) has said.

The Garda watchdog, which is carrying out the investigation into Hennessy’s death, said the fatal shooting was captured on CCTV.

Some of the recordings being reviewed were recorded by an automatic number plate recognition camera in a Garda car at the scene, it added.

A Stanley knife was found in Hennessy’s car and he had suffered wounds consistent with self harm.

“A postmortem established… Mark Hennessy had been shot in the shoulder, and that the bullet entered his torso causing fatal injuries,” a Gsoc statement on the case on Wednesday night said.

“The deceased was in the driver’s seat at the time of the shooting. Other wounds consistent with self-harming were noted on his body.”

Security sources said Hennessy, who had abducted and murder Jastine Valdez the previous evening, was self harming as the gardaí moved in on him on Sunday evening.

In another development, the Garda issued a photograph of Ms Valdez’s blue shoulder bag, which is missing.

A team of gardaí and troops spent Wednesday searching for the bag in Rathmichael, south Co Dublin. It is believed to contain an Apple Mini iPad.

Gardaí want to review the iPad as part of their efforts to determine whether there was any connection between Ms Valdez and Hennessy. No prior relationship or connection has been unearthed to date.

Hennessy had several minor convictions for being abusive while drunk, possessing cannabis and had recently crashed his car while drink driving. Gardaí believe his abduction of Ms Valdez was sexually motivated but because she fought for her life he killed her and dumped her body very quickly.

He then went drinking and gardaí are awaiting toxicology reports to confirm if he had also been taking cocaine.

While the Garda is investigating the murder of Ms Valdez, it falls to Gsoc to investigate the shooting dead of Hennessy, a 40-year-old father of two.

Under law, Gsoc investigates any deaths, or serious harm cases, that occur when members of the public are interacting with Garda members. That includes fatal shootings, such as Hennessy’s on Sunday.

As part of its investigation into Hennessy’s death, Gsoc will interview the gardaí who were present when the fatal shot was fired.

One key line of questioning is likely to be whether the gardaí at the scene believed Ms Valdez was in the car with Hennessy at the time.

Hennessy, a construction worker with an address in Bray, Co Wicklow, had been the subject of a manhunt for almost 24 hours when he was shot dead by the armed garda in Cherrywood Business Park last Sunday.

He had abducted Ms Valdez from a roadside just outside Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, at about 6pm on Saturday. It has since transpired he manually strangled her soon after the abduction and immediately dumped her body off Puck’s Castle Lane, Rathmichael, south Dublin.

However, at the time he was spotted in his Nissan Qashqai in Cherrywood, south Dublin, at 8pm on Sunday, and approached by Garda members, gardaí did not know Ms Valdez was dead.

They were still searching for her and believed Hennessy may still be holding her captive in his car. However, after shooting Hennessy in the vehicle the gardaí discovered there was no sign of Ms Valdez, an accountancy student from the Philippines.

A bloodied note in the car, and an examination of electronic systems in the vehicle, directed the Garda search for Ms Valdez to Puck’s Castle where her body was found on Monday afternoon.