Fitness enthusiast killed in Bray shooting named as Bobby Messett; Pete Taylor injured

  • Bobby Messett (50) dead following triple shooting in Bray Boxing Club
  • Pete Taylor - father of Olympic Champion Katie Taylor - one of two men hospitalised with injuries
  • Lone gunman entered the club and opened fire before 7am
  • Up to 20 people were training when gunman entered
  • Suspected getaway van located in Dublin
  • Motive for shooting still unclear

Latest: Gardaí have named the victim of this morning's fatal shooting in Co. Wicklow as 50-year-old Robert Messett.

He was killed when a gunman opened fire at Bray Boxing Club.

Gardaí at the scene of a shooting incident at Bray Boxing Club in The Harbour, Bray, Co. Wicklow.

Gardaí have this evening issued a renewed appeal for information as part of their investigation.

It's believed the silver Volkswagen caddy used in the shooting travelled from Bray through Shankill and Cornelscourt before being abandoned on Pigeon House Road in the Ringsend area of Dublin just after 8am.

A man was seen leaving the van and cycling away.

Gardaí are asking people who saw him or the van along that route between 7 and 8 o'clock this morning to contact them at Bray Garda Station on 01 6665300, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

Update 7.06pm: The father of Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor has been injured during a fatal shooting at his gym in Ireland.

Sports and keep-fit enthusiast Bobby Messett, 50, died while Pete Taylor, 57, sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries in the attack near Dublin. A third man, 35, was also hurt.

They were part of a group of up to 20 people at Bray Boxing Club in Co Wicklow who were about to start a session shortly before 7am on Tuesday morning.

Pete Taylor and Bray Boxing Club

A man wearing a balaclava or helmet and a high visibility jacket burst in and opened fire at the harbour-side centre using a suspected hand gun, police said.

The club was where Taylor - Ireland's Olympic, European and world champion - began her career. She went on to win gold at London 2012 with her father in her corner but now works in the US under different management.

Gardaí said the attack came "out of the blue" and located a suspected getaway van at Pigeon House Road in Dublin.

Gardaí at the scene on Pigeon House Road, Dublin where the Northern registered VW Caddy van was discovered, suspected as being the getaway vehicle from the scene of a triple shooting in the early hours of this morning at Bray Boxing Club. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Bray Municipal Council chair Chris Fox said: "Bobby would be very well-known in sporting circles in Bray, very much into soccer and keeping fit and used to go to the club before his day's work.

"He would not have any association with criminality or anything like that - never."

He died at the scene.

Mr Fox added: "I don't know what the background is to this but to me he would certainly have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, I could not see anyone targeting him in any shape or form."

He said Mr Messett's son Gary had represented Ireland in the Paralympics. Mr Messett's wife is Jackie.

Lines of gardaí searched the harbour at Bray as they launched a manhunt for the killer.

Forensics experts combed rocks nearby for clues. Armed support officers were present. Investigators in white boiler suits and gloves hunted for evidence.

Garda Superintendent Pat Ward said detectives were still establishing a motive, investigators were unsure whether the attack was targeted or indiscriminate. They were unaware of pre-existing threats to any gym member.

Mr Ward said the dead man was attending a regular fitness session.

"This came totally out of the blue - it was a normal day for all of those people in the gym."

He said it was unclear whether the gunman had an accomplice.

The man's body was removed from the club at around 2pm in a blacked out vehicle.

Belfast's former boxing world champion Brian Magee described Mr Taylor as a credit to Irish boxing.

Mr Magee said: "Pete is such a nice guy, he has such a good reputation, he's such a fantastic trainer. He trained one of the best female fighters ever in the world."

- PA

Update 6.23pm: Suspected getaway van located after one man killed and Pete Taylor injured in Bray shooting

A van believed to have been used in the shooting has been located in Dublin.

Gardaí are currently at the scene on Pigeon House Road in Ringsend, which has been sealed off for a technical examination.

Update 3.54pm: One man dead, Pete Taylor injured following shooting at Bray Boxing Club; Motive unclear

A major manhunt is underway after a shooting in Wicklow which left a 50-year-old man dead and two others seriously injured.

Up to 20 people were training at Bray Boxing Club when a gunman entered and opened fire just before 7am.

Garda activity at Bray Boxing Club (Brian Lawless/PA)

Katie Taylor’s father, Pete, is one of those taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Gardaí believe the gunman made off in a silver coloured Volkswagon caddy with Northern Ireland reg plates.

Former world champion Brian Magee has said he is shocked by the shooting of Mr Taylor, who he described as a credit to Irish boxing.

Mr Magee said: “Pete is such a nice guy, he has such a good reputation, he’s such a fantastic trainer. He trained one of the best female fighters ever in the world.”

The ex-professional said Mr Taylor was extremely well respected in boxing circles throughout Ireland.

Mr Magee said that not only had Mr Taylor’s health and life been put in danger, but his livelihood was also at stake.

He said it was disappointing that innocent people were getting hurt and that the sport could be tarnished by such shootings.

“It’s just hard to believe something like that happens,” he said.

“Boxing is a sport that brings people together … it’s such a shame that boxing is getting dragged into it.”

Mr Magee, who competed professionally from 1999 to 2012, said boxing gyms had always had a reputation for taking kids off the streets in troubled areas and keeping them off.

“That’s what boxing is about,” he said.

Mr Magee added he hoped Mr Taylor would make a full recovery.

The Irish Athletic Boxing Association says it is "horrified" at this morning's shooting.

It says something like this shouldn't happen in the setting of a community sports club.

In a statement, the group says its thoughts are with all those affected by what it calls an "appalling event".

Update 1.04pm: Gardaí say a motive for today’s shooting at Bray Boxing Club in Wicklow is still unclear.

A 50-year-old man has been killed and two others have been seriously injured, including Katie Taylor's father.

Up to 20 people were training at Bray Boxing Club when a gunman entered and opened fire just before 7am.

He shot three men - one of them – a 50-year-old died at the scene.

Two others, a 35-year-old and 57-year-old Pete Taylor, were taken to hospital with serious but non life threatening injuries.

Superintendent Pat Ward says its too early to say if the three men were targeted.

He said: "We don't yet know why this crime was carried out, that is something that will form part of our investigation.

"We are at an early stage, we are interviewing people and one of the prime inquiries we will be conducting is to find out what exactly the motive for this crime was."

Evidence at the side of the road after the shooting at Bray Boxing Club (Brian Lawless/PA)

Gardaí are now hunting for the gunman who they believe escaped in a silver coloured Volkswagon Caddy with Northern Ireland registration plates.

They are also examining CCTV, carrying out door-to-door inquiries and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Update 12.05pm: One man dead, Pete Taylor injured following shooting at Bray Boxing Club

The father of Olympic boxing gold medallist Katie Taylor has been injured in a shooting incident near Dublin.

Pete Taylor was at Bray Boxing Club in Co Wicklow, training fighters shortly before 7am on Tuesday, when the attack happened.

A 50-year-old man was killed and another man, aged 35, was injured, Gardaí said.

Boxing coach Pete Taylor was injured in the shooting at the club he founded in Bray, Co Wicklow (Niall Carson/PA)

The club was where Taylor – Ireland’s Olympic, European and World champion – began her career. She went on to win gold at London 2012.

The gym was established by Mr Taylor.

The chairman of Bray Municipal Council, Chris Fox, confirmed that the 57-year-old was one of those shot.

Fellow councillor Michael O’Connor added: “Pete Taylor was shot.”

Gardaí said the body of the man killed remains at the scene pending the arrival of the State Pathologist.

The two injured men were taken to hospital.

Update 10.20am: One man dead and Pete Taylor one of two hospitalised following triple shooting at Bray Boxing Club

A 50-year-old man has been killed in a shooting at Bray boxing club in Wicklow.

Two other men - aged 35 and 57 - have also been injured and have been taken to hospital.

One of those shot is Pete Taylor - father of Ireland's world and Olympic champion boxer Katie Taylor - who set up the club.

Gardaí are now searching for a gunman in a silver Volkswagon Caddy with Northern Ireland reg plates.

Pete Taylor has been taking to hospital with injuries following his morning's shooting at Bray Boxing Club.

Update 9.45am: A 50-year-old man has died after being shot in Bray, Co. Wicklow this morning.

It is understood at least one gunman entered Bray Boxing club – which was set up by Katie Taylor’s Dad Pete - just before 7am and opened fire.

The man's body remains at the scene pending the arrival of the State Pathologist and a technical examination of the area is now being carried out by Garda Crime Scene Examiners.

Gardaí at the scene of a shooting incident at Bray Boxing Club in The Harbour, Bray, Co. Wicklow. Photograph: RollingNews.ie.

Two other men, aged 35 and 57, who were injured in the incident have been taken to hospital.

Gardaí are appealing for information on a silver Volkswagen Caddy with Northern Irish registration plates.

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady says the community is in shock.

He said: "Waking up to the news this morning that three local guys were shot.

By all accounts, a totally indiscriminate shooting. From what we are hearing a single gun man walked into the Bray Boxing Club and just opened fire, shooting (what we are hearing), one of the guys in the head, one in the chest and one in the leg.

"Just absolutely devastating news."

He tweeted: "Absolutely shocking news coming from Bray Boxing club this morning. Another dark day for Bray."

Health minister Simon Harris, who represents the constituency of Wicklow, also tweeted saying: "Shocking news in Bray this morning. I have no doubt that the Gardai are doing all they can to apprehend those responsible."

It is still unconfirmed if the shooting has a link to the Kinahan Hutch feud.

Anyone with information can contact Bray Garda Station on 01 6665300.

Earlier: Three men seriously injured following morning shooting at Bray Boxing Club

Gardaí are at the scene of a shooting incident at Bray Boxing Club in Wicklow.

They say three men have been seriously injured.

It happened just before 7am this morning.

Garda activity in Bray, Co Wicklow, where one man was shot dead and two others seriously injured at a boxing club in The Harbour area of the town (Brian Lawless/PA)

Gardaí say the suspect left the scene in a white or silver van, possibly Ford make and bearing British number plates.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact Bray Garda Station.

- Digital Desk


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