Belfast Telegraph

Police arrest man and seize suspected gun after eight-hour manhunt

A man in his 30s has been arrested and a suspected gun seized in a busy shopping centre after a near eight-hour manhunt.

The suspect was detained just after lunchtime in Citywest Shopping Centre on the outskirts of Dublin as stunned and frightened onlookers and shop workers hid or ran from stores in the complex.

The man was restrained by several gardai with about 10 patrol cars and armed response units quickly on the scene after a pursuit across Tallaght.

Gardai had issued a public appeal for sightings of a suspected gunman and an alert to the public to stay away from him f ollowing a series of incidents in the area from before dawn.

It is understood the manhunt was launched after a disturbance at a house, believed to have been a domestic issue, in the Brookview area of Tallaght at around 6.30am.

In what gardai described as a "series of incidents" over the next few hours, a man was assaulted after a break-in at his home and a number of cars were stolen at gunpoint and either crashed or abandoned.

Following the disturbance at the first home, a car was taken from the property and crashed nearby at Russell Square.

Subsequently, another car was hijacked on the street and abandoned before the gunman smashed his way into a house in the Watergate area of Tallaght just before 7am.

After breaking glass in the front door and forcing his way inside, the armed man beat a man around the head with the butt of the gun before demanding car keys.

A black Renault Kadjar SUV was stolen from the house.

The injured man described the firearm as a machine gun.

The suspected gunman is then believed to have hijacked at least three other vehicles during a rampage around Tallaght before being rammed while in a black Mercedes at the Citywest Shopping Centre.

It is understood he fled from the car and into the shopping complex.

Gardai said a suspected firearm, which will undergo technical examination, was recovered at the scene of the arrest.

Witness Kian McGuirk, 15, was in a car on the grounds of the shopping centre with his mother when the arrest incident unfolded.

"Me and mam had just driven out of the shops. She was just getting a few bits and bobs and we heard the helicopter and the sirens," he said.

"I only live up the road and I said to my mam I'd just walk around to the house. She said 'no' but then she said 'OK, but don't get too close'.

The schoolboy, who lives in Citywest and was in the area for an appointment, said: "The main doors were across the road from me.

"I could see someone sprinting out. I saw the fella sprinting out to the main doors. He dropped his jacket, a black jacket.

"I saw the gardai running into the shops. And they just jumped on him, put him on the ground and then handcuffs."

The suspect had suffered a minor cut to his face.

Some workers in the shopping centre were too shocked to talk, with some in tears, following the incident.

Niall Collins, manager of Streat cafe in the Citywest centre, said gardai chased a man into the centre and towards Dunnes before the arrest was made.

"We heard the commotion out in the hall," he said.

"We didn't see much. We went to the front door and the gardai followed him in. Then there were a couple of customers sitting out the front of the cafe so we brought them in and pulled down the shutters."

Four samurai swords were also taken from a house in the Brookview area of Tallaght in a follow-up search by gardai.

Gardai said the arrested man was detained under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and taken in for questioning to Tallaght station.

They repeated their appeal for witnesses to come forward.

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