NewsCrime Desk

Hitman in drag minutes after ruthless machine gun murder

Christopher McDonald caught on CCTV moments after shooting Keith Walker
Christopher McDonald caught on CCTV moments after shooting Keith Walker

THIS is hitman in drag machine gun killer Christopher McDonald caught on CCTV just 13 minutes after he fatally shot an innocent man 18 times in a case of mistaken identity.

Yesterday, McDonald (34) – from East Wall on the capital’s northside – was convicted of the murder of Keith Walker at Blanchardstown Pigeon Racing Club on June 12, 2015.

This exclusive image shows McDonald at the Lidl supermarket car park in Blanchardstown, tightly clutching a bag which contained the submachine gun used to shoot Mr Walker (36) dead.

By the time the image was caught on the supermarket’s CCTV system, he had already ditched the dark-haired wig he was wearing when he carried out the murder.

The footage shows McDonald entering the Lidl car park wearing a dark top and dark, short, tight women’s gym shorts, black-and-white runners and carrying a light-coloured bag with the gun in it.

He was also wearing makeup on his face and is understood to have had a bra on.

Minutes after he was caught on CCTV, McDonald discarded the machine gun in a nearby lane and escaped the area.

The intended target of the gruesome murder was notorious gangster Jason ‘Jay’ O’Connor, who has been involved in a bitter feud with some of his former associates in the Westies gang.

In shocking scenes during the trial, career criminal O’Connor had to be restrained by prison officers when he lunged at McDonald before he was due to give evidence.

The Herald reports that O’Connor ‘went for’ Mc- Donald in court after the killer had mouthed “rat” at the witness as he was due to give evidence in the box.

A woman sitting in the courtroom shouted “please Jay don’t” as four prison officers held O’Connor back and he mouthed he was not a rat. It is understood that Mc- Donald, who had a chronic drug addiction, was not paid a single cent for the botched gangland murder.

Gardai believe that he was enlisted for the job after becoming friendly with O’Connor’s enemies in prison.

In fact, officers have since established that he was a close associate of the notorious criminal who is the chief suspect in ordering the murder.

This man was previously arrested as part of the detailed murder investigation but was later released without charge.

This Blanchardstown criminal cannot be named here for legal reasons but one of his closest pals was lucky to escape with his life after being shot multiple times in the Mulhuddart area last December.

Gardai have linked that attempted murder to the same bitter feud which led to the murder of innocent Mr Walker over two years ago.

The massive investigation into the brutal murder of Mr Walker was led by Superintendent Colm Murphy and his team of detectives at Blanchardstown Garda Station.

Keith Walker was shot dead in the car park of the Blanchardstown Pigeon Racing Club as he stood chatting with fellow pigeon enthusiasts.

He had arrived at the club at 5.31pm on the fateful day in a car belonging to his friend Jason ‘Jay’ O’Connor. He was carrying pigeons belonging to O’Connor and the pair planned to travel to Manchester that night ahead of a weekend of racing.

The jury was shown CCTV footage of a person hanging around the pigeon club car park from about 4.20pm, 40 minutes before Mr Walker arrived.

This individual was not identified in court but the prosecution case was that it was McDonald, dressed in drag, waiting to carry out the hit.

Several witnesses said they saw a man dressed in women’s gym clothes in the area, carrying a handbag and wearing a long black wig.

One witness reported him to gardai after she saw him hanging around a creche beside the pigeon club.

At 6pm, CCTV showed Mr Walker talking to club member Mark Kelly and at 6.01pm the hitman entered through the main gate, pulled a gun from his handbag and opened fire before escaping the way he came.

Footage gathered from a house on Sheepmoor Grove in Blanchardstown shows Mc- Donald, wearing a dark top and bottoms, walking by eight minutes after the shooting.

Five minutes after that, Mc- Donald enters the Lidl car park and these are the images from CCTV footage that the Herald reveals today. A post-mortem revealed that the victim was hit 18 times.

Four days after the shooting gardai found the machine gun used to kill Mr Walker in a laneway at Sheepmoor Grove, about one kilometre from the pigeon club.

The 9mm calibre Makarov submachine gun was inside a brown, furry handbag and alongside it were a black wig and a transparent latex glove.

Forensic testing showed that McDonald’s DNA was on the wig and glove, both of which also contained traces of firearms residue.

None of the witnesses who saw the shooter on the day were asked to identify McDonald, and CCTV showing the shooting was not clear enough for identification.

However, the prosecution relied on the evidence of two teenage boys who met the gunman on his way to the pigeon club.

The boys said they met a man dressed in women’s clothes, with long hair and carrying a handbag.

They both noted that he had a cut over his right eye and was wearing make-up. He asked them for directions to the pigeon club and then walked away quickly.

When gardai arrested Mc- Donald in the early hours of the following morning, he had a cut over his right eye, matching the boys’ description.

Gardai also said they saw what they believed to be makeup on his face.