NewsCrime Desk

Man shot in chest in Dublin scrap yard had a 'miracle escape'

Gardai at the scene in Walkinstown
Gardai at the scene in Walkinstown

The latest shooting victim in the capital had a 'miraculous escape' after he was targeted in a case of mistaken identity.

Sources said John O'Connor (41) survived because of the way he was standing when the gunman struck.

Mr O'Connor who was in the Cullen Car Parts premises on business, was injured in the attack with the gunman then fleeing on foot into a waiting getaway car.

Not the intended target, Mr O'Connor was approached from behind by the gunman but turned slightly, meaning he was hit with shotgun pellets in the chest.

The victim, from Westbourne Avenue in Clondalkin, was described as being in a serious but stable condition in Tallaght Hospital and sources said he is "extremely lucky to be alive".

The incident unfolded at 11.35am yesterday at the car parts yard on Greenhills Road, Walkinstown.

A man armed with a shotgun made his way on foot into the scrapyard and discharged a number of shots.

He then escaped into the waiting car, later located a short distance from the scene on Corrig Close.

It's understood gardaí have recovered excellent CCTV footage of the incident.

Gardaí are appealing for information on two suspects - the driver of the car and a tall man wearing a grey tracksuit.

It is understood that Mr O' Connor is involved in the car dismantling and scrap trades.

Cullen's Car Spares is one of three different car parts businesses located in the same area of the Greenhills Road and the owners of the three businesses are related to each other.

Gardaí sealed of the scene in the aftermath of the gun attack.

A local worker said he had no idea anything was wrong until he saw the garda helicopter hovering overhead.

Large numbers of partly dismantled cars were stacked in the yards. The yard where the shooting happened had a bright blue security fence, a CCTV camera at the entrance and a sign which stated 'All customers please report to office.'

A local resident said she had no idea anything happened until she saw an ambulance parked beside the road.

"It had been raining very heavily and I was minding a three-year- old girl. I didn't hear anything.

"I've lived here for over 30 years and nothing like this has happened before. The guards came and told me a chap was after being shot. They asked me if I saw anything but I didn't."