Irish man among five injured in shooting at Marbella beach club

Police arrest a suspected gunman, who reportedly suffered stab wounds to his head and chest

An Irish man is in intensive care in hospital after being shot at a nightclub in Costa del Sol in Spain in the early hours of Monday.

Five people were injured during a shooting and stabbing at a beach club in Marbella, Spain — including the 32-year-old Irishman.

Police said four of the people injured were taken to hospital after suffering gunshot wounds in the early hours of Monday morning during a DJ set at Opium Beach Club outside Marbella town centre.

Police confirmed they had arrested the suspected gunman, a Dutch national, who reportedly suffered stab wounds to his head and chest after firing his weapon in the packed club.


Hospital sources at the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella, where the stab victim and four gunshot victims were taken, said two of the casualties were “serious”.

The 32-year-old man from Ireland was one of the two people in intensive care after he was shot in the chest, they added.

A spokesman for Spain’s National Police in Malaga said: “Two of the victims, a man who is Irish, and a woman, are in intensive care in hospital.” They said the suspected gunman was in hospital.

“A person who is the suspected gunman has suffered stab wounds to the chest and head. He has been arrested and is under police custody. The police investigation is ongoing.”

The injured Irish man is believed to have been an innocent bystander who was shot after a fight broke out between two groups of nightclub goers in a VIP area of the beach club.

Security sources in Dublin told The Irish Times that gardaí knew who the injured Irish man was and they had no prior knowledge of him for any involvement in crime. The same sources stressed the shooting was being investigated in Spain, rather than Ireland.

However, they added, the information available to the authorities in Dublin suggested the Irish man “happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time”. Gardaí believe he was effectively caught up in the incident, which involved two other groups, and was unlucky to be wounded when shots were fired in the packed venue.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said it had “not been contacted in relation to this incident but stands ready to provide consular assistance as appropriate and upon request”.

On social media videos, at least one English speaker could be overhead saying: “I heard gunshots” after a stampede to exit the venue as four shots rang out.

South African DJ Black Coffee, whose real name is Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo, was among those due to perform at Opium Beach Club on Sunday night. It was not immediately clear which DJ was playing when the shooting occurred, just after 1am on Monday morning.

A British man who was in attendance said he was aware of a fight in the VIP area. “I was with my husband and he just flung himself on top of me because at one point the gunman seemed to be shooting out into the crowd. There was a real mad panic and everyone just rang for the exits. It was all very confusing.”

A neighbour living near the venue told a local paper: “I couldn’t sleep because of the noise of the music and suddenly I heard four shots. I looked over my balcony because I knew straight away it wasn’t the sound of fireworks like other nights. That’s when I saw a lot of people running out of the venue.

Police have not yet confirmed all the nationalities of those hurt, although a man heard shouting just before shots rang out appeared to be talking in French.

A source at the Costa del Sol Hospital where the injured are all believed to have been taken added: “None of the casualties brought to the hospital are Spanish.”

Opium is a popular venue just outside Marbella town centre overlooking the sea off the dual-carriageway running from the resort eastward towards Fuengirola.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times