The fatal shooting by gardaí of a 27-year-old man who threatened officers and brandished a knife has been described as a “complete tragedy” for the deceased, his family and the garda.
The man, named as George Nkencho, is described as having suffered from significant personal issues and is understood to have lived with his parents.
A number of shots, believed to be five, were discharged at the man, after apparent attempts to subdue him by two Tasers and pepper spray proved unsuccessful.
A video taken locally captured the incident and appeared to show the man, suspected of holding a knife, swinging and lunging at nearby gardaí, even after shots were fired at him.
The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) immediately launched an investigation, as it is legally required to do in such situations, and attended the scene.
Local gardaí were called to shops in the Hartstown area of Blanchardstown at 12.15pm on Wednesday after receiving 999 calls about a man armed with a knife.
A Garda statement said: "During an incident at the EuroSpar business premises in Hartstown Shopping Centre a male staff member received facial injuries and is currently receiving medical attention in Connolly Memorial Hospital.
"Subsequently a second public order incident was reported at the Post Office in the Hartstown Shopping Centre.
"Uniform, unarmed Gardaí responded to the scene and observed a male in possession of a knife.
"The male continued to threaten members of the public and unarmed Gardaí with the knife."
The statement said responding gardaí followed the male on foot and by vehicles from the shopping centre towards Manorsfields Drive, Dublin 15. Gardaí engaged with the man and encouraged him to drop the knife.
The statement said members of the Armed Support Unit then arrived at the scene at Manorfields Drive, a housing estate where the man lived with his family.
"The Armed Support Unit were also threatened with a knife and implemented a graduated response where the use of less-lethal force options (taser and OC spray) was initially administered in an effort to resolve the incident. The less-lethal use of force options were unsuccessful," it said.
"At approximately 12.35pm a member of the Armed Support Unit discharged a number of shots from his official firearm shooting the male."
It said the male was treated at the scene by Armed Support Unit paramedics and Dublin Fire Brigade paramedics, before being brought to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Gsoc has launched an investigation. Sources said Gsoc has an obligation under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights to ensure that “loss of life was justified in all the circumstances”.
Their examination will try and determine whether or not the garda who discharged the firearm had an honestly-held belief that their life or someone’s else’s life was in immediate danger.
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