A shotgun and rifle owned by a taxi driver who killed himself after opening fire on unarmed gardai were legally held, it has emerged.
Tony McMahon died after he was pulled over by a garda patrol car near Newport, Co Tipperary, on Monday night following reports the he had been driving erratically.
The former carpet fitter spoke to a garda for more than a minute before reaching for a double barrelled shotgun which had been in the front foot well of his taxi van.
The unarmed, uniformed officer struggled with Mr McMahon as one round was discharged and the flash and shotgun pellets from a barrel burned and grazed his face.
Two shots were fired before Mr McMahon picked up a loaded hunting rifle and fired at least six shots which hit the patrol car as both gardai took cover.
The taxi driver, who had been living outside Rearcross, several miles from Newport on the Tipperary Limerick border, had licences for both weapons, Garda sources confirmed.
He had worked as a carpet fitting contractor for Nolan's Carpets and Flooring in Newport but had not been employed by the company for three or four years. He also worked driving a taxi in Limerick city.
The Garda Ombudsman's office has taken control of investigations into the incident.
The shooting happened on the Newport to Thurles Road, also known as the Old Cork Road, shortly before 8pm on Monday night.