NewsCrime Desk

Manhunt underway in Spain for Irishman's killer in possible 'mistaken identity' case

Paramedics attempt to revive the shooting victim last night (Photo: Solarpix)
Paramedics attempt to revive the shooting victim last night (Photo: Solarpix)

Police confirmed today they were still hunting the killer of an Irish holidaymaker gunned down in a Majorcan holiday resort.

An all-ports warning is in place as murder squad detectives seek to stop the killer and accomplices fleeing the island.

Roadblocks are also still in place in the area.

It is believed that the victim was not the intended target, with officers yet to make arrests.

There was no official confirmation that the unnamed Irishman was the victim of mistaken identity.

Howver, respected island daily Diario de Mallorca said Civil Guard officers were focusing on the theory he had been shot four times in the back outside an empty supermarket after being mistaken for another man because of their likeness.

A suspect in a blue hoodie was seen fleeing the scene, although murder squad detectives are understood to be looking for two accomplices.

The shooting happened just after 9pm in the popular resort of Costa de la Calma in south-west Majorca, around 15 miles from the capital Palma.

Locals revealed that after the shooting took place, police had asked them to look after several children aged between eight and 15 years of age.

They were told that the kids were the victim’s relatives, who needed to be minded while they quizzed a woman thought to be the dead man's partner.

Detectives have been told that the intended target may have been a member of the Hutch mob, which has maintained a long-running gangland feud with the rival Kinahan cartel.

The Costa del Sol and Ireland has been rocked by a series of tit-for-tat killings blamed on the two feuding Irish gangs.

In February, gangster David Byrne was shot dead at Dublin’s Regency Hotel during the the weigh-in of Jamie Kavanagh, the boxing pal of Irish godfather Christy Kinahan's son Daniel.

Byrne (32), was aligned to Christy Kinahan's gang, nowadays said to be led by Daniel.

The shooting, which followed the September 2014 killing of Jamie's gangster dad Gerard at a pub near Marbella, was seen as retaliation for the assassination in September last year of Gary Hutch in Miraflores, near Fuengirola in Spain.

Gary’s uncle Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch has been blamed for ordering the hit on Byrne as part of an all-out war with the Kinahan gang.

His brother Eddie was shot dead three days after the Regency Hotel attack in a feud which one major criminal has warned would only end when Daniel Kinahan, who until recently lived in Marbella, was killed.

Christy and Daniel are now said to have relocated to Dubai to escape the threats to their lives.

Since Eddie Hutch's killing on February 8 at his home, at least three murders in Ireland have been linked the gangland feud.

Civil Guard officers in Majorca are saying very little about their bid to catch those responsible for Wednesday night's brutal murder.

A spokesman for the force said: "I can confirm we are yet to make any arrests but I cannot give out any more detail, other than to confirm a man was shot just after 9pm yesterday in Costa de la Calma and subsequently died."

Local reports said police had spoken to a key witness who claimed to have overheard the killer bragging in a bar about the crime he was about to pull off.

Up to five people who witnessed the crime are understood to have given statements to police.

A bar owner, who asked not to be named, said: "I heard three shots but there were apparently four and then saw a man with a blue hoodie pulled tight over his face run by.

"I didn't realise at first they were gunshots. I thought it was kids playing with firecrackers.

"But then I heard people screaming and people came rushing into the bar to seek refuge."