The Garda watchdog has been called in to investigate the apparent suicide of a man who was being pursued by gardai.
It is understood the man had been stopped by officers while driving erratically through Drogheda, Co Louth, in the early hours of Friday morning.
Gardai noticed a shotgun and shotgun cartridges in the local man's Hyundai Santa Fe and made preliminary inquiries which confirmed the firearm was legally held.
But when the man was asked to get out of the vehicle he sped off, according to one source close to the investigation.
A garda patrol car later passed the Hyundai Santa Fe on Drogheda's North Strand at around 5am and called in the force's armed regional support unit after hearing what may have been warning shots.
When the armed officers arrived on the scene, they discovered the man had apparently turned the shotgun on himself.
The Garda Ombudsman said it is looking for witnesses who may have seen a silver Hyundai Santa Fe parked on the North Strand between 5am and 7am.
A spokesman said: "The incident has been referred to the Garda Ombudsman by the Garda Commissioner in accordance with Section 102 of the Garda Siochana Act 2005.
"The referral was made to the Garda Ombudsman because there had been some interaction between gardai and the deceased prior to the discovery of his body."
State Pathologist Marie Cassidy was asked to carry out a post-mortem examination on the man.