Belfast Telegraph

Garda officer accidentally shot in ankle in patrol car

The incident is being investigated. (Niall Carson/PA)
The incident is being investigated. (Niall Carson/PA)

By David Raleigh

An investigation has been launched after the 'unintentional discharge of a firearm' resulted in a garda being shot in the ankle while in a patrol car.

The office of the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GS0C) has confirmed it has begun a formal investigation.

Sources said the incident occurred on the grounds of Mayorstone Park Garda Station, on Thursday, July 18.

The injured officer, who is attached to the garda Armed Support Unit (ASU), underwent surgery on their ankle.

A GSOC spokesperson said: “GSOC can confirm it is investigating the unintentional discharge of a firearm received from the Garda Síochána under section 102 of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005.”

“This investigation is ongoing at this time and GSOC will not be making any further comment.”

Sources believe the firearm accidentally went off inside the Garda’s parked patrol car.

However, the exact circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear.

The Garda’s superiors immediately referred the matter to GSOC, which confirmed last July that it had “received a referral to an incident”.

Sources said the bullet that struck the garda was discovered inside a patrol car, near the footwell of the vehicle.

Forensic officers recovered and removed the spent shell for a technical examination.

Sources said the garda injured in the shooting was “very respected” and very experienced in using firearms.

The ASU when it was the RSU (Regional Support Unit) was previously armed with Uzi machine guns, but these were decommissioned in favour of the MP7 sub machine gun.

“The Uzis were taken out and the MP7s brought in because they were deemed to be better and safer.”

“The ASU in Limerick were instrumental in solving the gang feud. They are an absolute credit to the force and the gangs are terrified of them,” a source said.

“They are highly trained and highly thought of by everyone in the force, and they have high standards to maintain. They’re a brilliant asset, super operators,” the source added.

The ASU is an elite Garda unit and members undergo continuous assessment and training in using firearms. Officers train at a firing range every month and they are tested physically and mentally every six months.

Each ASU member is armed with lethal weapons including, a personal Sig Sauer P226 9mm self-loading pistol, as well as a Heckler & Koch MP7 sub machine gun, which can fire up to 40 rounds in approximately 3.5 seconds. They also carry a Benelli M4 Super 90 semi-automatic shotgun in their patrol cars.

An assortment of non-lethal weapons including Tasers, pepper spray, and rubber bullets are also utilized by the unit.

Their Volvo V70 and Audi Q7 patrol vehicles can travel at a top speed of 280km/h.

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