Suspect in take-away shooting released without charge

Gardaí say files on two suspects will be prepared for DPP

Garda Forensic experts at the scene in the aftermath of the shooting at Mizzoni’s Pizza in Edenmore in Dublin. Photograph: Collins

Garda Forensic experts at the scene in the aftermath of the shooting at Mizzoni’s Pizza in Edenmore in Dublin. Photograph: Collins

 

A 44-year-old man who was arrested in connection with the shooting of two fast-food workers last Tuesday has been released without charge.

A file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the man’s alleged involvement in the attack.

A 16-year-old boy who was also arrested was released two days ago. Gardaí are also sending a file on the boy to the DPP. Investigations are continuing.

Victims of the attack 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.

Two suspects were arrested shortly afterwards. The man who was arrested is suspected in a series of robberies in the area and has a substantial criminal record.

The shooting is 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 suggestion 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 a gunshot wound to his stomach on Tuesday night and remains in Beaumont Hospital. Mr Dateu sustained a less serious wound to his chest and also remains in hospital.

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.