Belfast Telegraph

Shot boxing coach to be told threat to his life is still active

Irish police are expected to officially warn boxing coach Pete Taylor that there is an active threat against his life and offer him personal security advice.

A massive investigation is continuing into the gym shooting in Bray, Co Wicklow, in which grandfather Bobby Messett (50) died while two other men - Mr Taylor (57) and Ian Britton (35) - were wounded.

Yesterday officers continued to search for the handgun used in the attack in which intended target Pete Taylor suffered a non life-threatening injury to his chest from a bullet that exited his arm.

A manhunt continued for the gunman who murdered tragic grandfather Mr Messett when he shot him in the head and also wounded Mr Britton who was shot three times in the leg.

While the gunman has not been identified, detectives are probing whether he may be based in the north inner city.

A source said: "A number of different scenarios are being looked at. The geography alone of where the van was abandoned indicates the suspected gunman may be from the north inner city because of analysis of previous crimes."

After the attack at the Bray Boxing Club shortly before 7am on Tuesday, the lone gunman escaped in a silver coloured Volkswagen Caddy with Northern Irish plates.

This vehicle was later found intact by gardai in the Pigeon House Road area of Ringsend at around 2pm.

The gunman was seen cycling away from the getaway van shortly after 8am and was caught on numerous CCTV cameras in the locality. The van was still being forensically examined yesterday.

Detectives will take a detailed statement from Mr Taylor - father of Olympic gold medal winner Katie - in the coming days and are also expected to give him a formal warning about an active threat on his life.

Mr Taylor is expected to be issued with a Garda Information Message and given detailed security advice about his movements.

"The reality is that Mr Taylor is very lucky to be alive and more people than the other two gentlemen who were shot could also easily have been hit in this truly reckless attack - there were over 15 people in the gym," a source said last night.

The CEO of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) has said "whatever went on" during the Bray Boxing Club gun attack "has nothing to do with boxing".

Fergal Carruth added that the IABA is "completely horrified" at the incident. He also paid tribute to the deceased and the two injured.

While gardai have also not definitely ruled out the theory that the Hutch mob were behind the shocking gun attack, senior sources say that it is "far more likely" that a dangerous north Wicklow gang are at the centre of Tuesday's events.

Belfast Telegraph

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