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Fatal shooting Second postmortem carried out on body of George Nkencho as family wait on remains

The second postmortem is being ordered by the solicitor for the Nkencho family.


George Nkencho

George Nkencho

George Nkencho

An independent postmortem was expected to be carried out yesterday on the body of George Nkencho, the man shot by gardaí outside his home on December 30 while allegedly armed with a knife.

One postmortem has been carried out to determine the circumstances of his death but the second postmortem is being ordered by the solicitor for the Nkencho family.

It is independent of the one that will form part of the State's investigation by An Garda Síochána and the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission into the fatal shooting.

It had been unclear if the current Level 5 Covid restrictions would hamper the second postmortem. It was feared a pathologist would be unable to travel from England.

But the independent postmortem was due to be carried out on Tuesday by Professor Jack Crane, the North's former state pathologist.

It remains unclear when Mr Nkencho's body will be released to his family who are anxious to arrange his funeral.

But the family's solicitor, Phelim O'Neill, said it was expected that there would be an update soon.

"George's family would hope that his body would be released to them later this week," he said.

Mr Nkencho (27) was followed by gardaí from the Eurospar shop at Hartstown, west Dublin, after the alarm was raised by staff following an alleged confrontation in which it is said he was armed with a knife and assaulted a staff member.

He walked towards his home at Manorsfield Drive in Clonee, a journey of around 10 minutes, as gardaí ordered him to stop and put down the knife.

Armed gardaí arrived at the scene and tried to use non-lethal force, including pepper spray and a taser, to disable and disarm him.

This was unsuccessful. As Mr Nkencho went to enter his home he was fired on a number of times.

He was taken to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown but was pronounced dead a short time later.

Sources close to the family have said George's sister Gloria had urged gardaí to stop before he was shot, and that armed gardaí knew there were people in the hallway of the house when they opened fire, with two bullets hitting the window beside the door close to where they were standing.

They say the family will tell investigators they saw their brother being pepper-sprayed at close range by gardaí, and will ask why he could not have been disarmed by gardaí if they could get that close.

The family has said George was suffering from mental illness at the time of his death.

"The family will say that if the gardaí are issuing statements saying they feared George would harm them, then why did they fire shots in their direction and put them in danger," the sources said.

"They will also say that there was a four-second delay between the fourth and fifth shot.

"They know George was hit more than once, so they will say the fifth shot was not necessary and that George had already been disabled by the time it was fired," they added.

"Three of George's siblings were in the house when he arrived surrounded by gardaí.

"His sister opened the door and urged gardaí to stop, saying she could talk to George and that he was ill, but she was told to get back inside and then the firing started," the source explained.

Gardaí have said they tried non-lethal force first and feared for the safety of themselves and others when the armed garda fired his garda- issue weapon.

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