Tests to identify ‘gun’ thief at crash

Forensic tests are being conducted on the bicycle of a youth who took a suspected handgun from the body of a dying man as he was being treated by paramedics.

The dead man, Shane Fowler, suffered fatal injuries and cardiac arrest after the motorbike he was driving at speed lost control and smashed against a metal pole on Dunsink Park, Finglas, north Dublin on Sunday afternoon.

As paramedics were treating him at around 3pm, they noticed a stocking inside his waistband which appeared to contain a firearm.

A youth approached them and pushed his way in before removing the stocking and leaving.

Paramedics have also said this youth and another friend were taking photographs of them on their phones before removing the gun — a move they felt was clearly meant to intimidate them from saying anything to gardaí.

Gardaí said the youth who took the suspected weapon left his bicycle behind. DNA and fingerprint tests are being conducted on it in a bid to identify the youth and, if possible, track down the suspected firearm.

The deceased was involved in a gang that is engaged in a violent feud with another Finglas outfit.

Gardaí suspect Fowler may have been transporting the weapon. He also had what they believe was drugs on his body.

Urine and blood tests will be conducted for the coroner to determine if he was under the influence of any narcotics at the time.

Garda specialist forensic collision investigators were dispatched to the scene and began their examination.

Gardaí said there was no other vehicle or pedestrian involved in the collision and that it appeared the driver clipped a parked car, hit a kerb and then a metal pole.

The Garda Armed Support Unit was dispatched to the scene and later on in the evening was parked for a period in the forecourt of Finglas Fire Brigade Station, local sources said.

Scene of a fatal Road traffic incident at Dunsink Park, Finglas, Dublin Sunday. Pic: Paddy Cummins/PCPhoto.ie

Gardaí spoke to the paramedics concerned, who told them that as they were treating the injured party and rolled his body to place him on a spinal board that they noticed a stocking inside his waistband that contained a possible firearm.

Sources said the paramedics took the behaviour of the youths taking photographs of them, before removing the weapon, was meant to “intimidate” them.

It is not clear what the youth said to the crew at the time he took the weapon as paramedics in these situations would make it clear to anyone to back off.

Gardaí are keen to establish for certain if the suspected weapon was a handgun. Gardaí do not suspect the deceased was on his way to carry out a murder, but are not ruling it out, and suspect he may have been moving the weapon.

The deceased is closely connected with the leader of a local gang involved in a serious feud with another network in the area.

The former gang is linked to the Hutch criminal grouping while the latter one is associated with the Kinahan cartel, but the local feud is not connected with that.

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