Gardaí follow several lines of inquiry in murder hunt

GARDAÍ are investigating a number of lines of inquiry in relation to the brutal gun murder of a 20-year-old man near his home in west Dublin.

Dean Johnson was sitting in the rear of a stationary car on Moorefield Avenue in Neilstown when a hooded gunman walked up and fired four shots in through a passenger window, hitting him in the head and upper body.

A young mother, a friend of Mr Johnson’s girlfriend, was in the front of the car at the time. She was not injured, but was left severely traumatised.

Mr Johnson is the fifth gun death so far this year. While some of the previous killings are linked to drugs or feuds, none are thought to be gangland murders. It is not yet known if Mr Johnson’s death is gangland-related or the result of a personal feud or dispute.

He was not considered to be a serious criminal by gardaí, who are now investigating his background and associates he may have had.

Detectives are investigating at a number of incidents involving the deceased. He is thought to have been involved in two recent public order incidents outside nightclubs, one in west Dublin and the other in the city centre. There are reports that he may have assaulted another man with a bottle.

He was facing a charge for public disorder in relation to one of these incidents. Gardaí will now conduct investigations into all the people involved in those incidents. Gardaí will also investigate any associates of Mr Johnson who were linked to a substantial haul of drugs that the youth was convicted for three years ago.

As he was 17 and it was his first offence, Mr Johnston received the probation act and did not receive a criminal conviction. Detectives will investigate whether the people who owned those drugs took revenge, albeit three years later.

At a press briefing yesterday Detective Superintendent Walter O’Sullivan said it was very early in their investigation: “There has been no clear motive established as to who was responsible for this attack on this young man”, but “we have a number of lines of inquiry, that we are certainly going to pursue.”

He confirmed Mr Johnson was shot several times in the upper body and head at around 8.50pm and was pronounced dead in hospital at 10pm.

He said the attacker was of stocky build, wore a grey hoodie, grey top and grey bottoms. He left on foot in the direction of Neilstown Road.

Det Supt O’Sullivan said: “The victim is a young man in his early 20s, a regular young man from the Moorefield estate. He was going out with a young lady, also from the neighbourhood. He was just a regular individual.”

Det Supt O’Sullivan confirmed that a friend of Mr Johnson was in the front of the car and had been interviewed.

* Contact Ronanstown Garda Station on 01-6667700


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