A POSSIBLE murder was prevented after alert gardai intercepted an armed suspect outside Limerick city’s busiest garda station.
Gardai have revealed the 22-year-old, who was arrested and detained near Henry Street garda station in recent days, was on his way to “carry out a job” when he was apprehended.
The man, who has a large number of previous convictions, was initially observed by an off-duty garda crossing Shannon Bridge.
As he was wanted for questioning in relation to an ongoing investigation, he was approached but refused to cooperate and tried to evade arrest by fleeing in the direction of the city centre.
He was chased by gardai to Bishop’s Quay and up Mill Lane – between Estuary House and Henry Street garda station – where he was
apprehended a short time later with the assistance of other gardai.
The Limerick Leader has learned that prior to being subdued, a gun fell out of the man’s jacket onto the ground as he went to place his hand inside the jacket.
Gardai say the man later admitted he intended to “leave off a shot” in an effort to stop them advancing towards him.
The sawn-off shotgun, which was seized from the young man, has since been sent for forensic and ballistics analysis along with a cartridge, which was also found in his possession.
While the suspect claimed he intended discharging a shot, the weapon was not loaded at the time.
A detective familiar with the incident revealed the man admitted, during interview, he was on the way “to do a job” when he was intercepted and that he told gardai someone would have been killed had he not been caught.
While investigations are continuing into the incident, gardai believe the man, who is originally from the Southill area, had intended “going on a rampage” which would likely have resulted in a loss of life.
“He is a volatile individual,. He stated to us that he was going to kill someone,” said the detective.
Gardai say the man, who is likely to face criminal charges in relation to the incident, is associated with an individual who is involved in a dispute between a number of families on the southside of the city.
There have several serious incidents – including street brawls and shootings - connected with that dispute over the past twelve months .
The man who was arrested in recent days is suspected of being involved in at least one of the incidents.