A young Garda is expected to undergo surgery to remove a bullet lodged in his back after he was shot twice in New Orelans.
Brian Hanrahan, 30, originally from Killenaule, Co Tipperary, but stationed at Newcastle West Garda station, Co Limerick, was shot in the lower back and in one of his legs, during the course of a botched attempted mugging.
While his injuries are serious they are not believed to be life-threatening.
Garda Hanrahan and his father had been on a 10-day once in a lifetime road trip travelling along the famous Route 66 across the United States.
According to a Garda source, the trip had been a surprise organised by Garda Hanrahan's father.
"They dropped off in New Orleans to enjoy the annual Mardi Gras celebrations which runs until the middle of February," the source explained.
"He had to get emergency annual leave because his father only told him about it at short notice. I think he thought he was going to a Premiership soccer match in the UK. It was a surprise trip."
It has emerged that hours before the shooting, Garda Hanrahan's father returned to their hotel leaving his son alone to enjoy the city's colourful street festival spectacle.
Upon returning to the hotel, Garda Hanrahan was approached by a man who attempted to rob him.
Garda Hanrahan's colleagues said they believed he may have resisted the attempts of the mugger to rob him.
"If I know Brian, he wouldn't have backed down easily," said a colleague.
"He's a tall lad and strong too.
"He's big into the strong man competitions now. He got into it recently. He is strong."
One of the bullets travelled straight through one of his legs while the other shot travelled through the body, injuring some internal organs.
According to a well-informed Garda source, a bullet is still lodged in Garda Hanrahan's back and he may have to undergo surgery to remove it.
There are unconfirmed reports he was placed in a medically induced coma by doctors overnight to aid his recovery.
The shooting occurred in the early hours of yesterday in the 7th ward area of New Orleans near the intersection of New Orleans Street and North Tonti Street.
Garda Hanrahan who recently married his wife, Emma celebrated the arrival of their first child Mia a little over a year ago.
A liaison officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs is assisting Garda Hanrahan's wife and family and efforts are currently being made for them to travel to see him.
Police in New Orelans are investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.