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An examination of the scene carried out by the Garda Technical Bureau yesterday Sasko Lazarov
assault rifle

‘It adds more fear’: Councillors react to 'worrying' reports an AR-15 was used in Drimnagh murder

Councillors have described reports the high-powered rifle was used in the shooting as a ‘worrying development’.

LOCAL COUNCILLORS HAVE said reports that an AR-15 rifle was used in the murder of a man in Dublin in the early hours of Monday morning has added to the community’s fears.

At around 12.15am on Monday morning, gardaí received calls about shots being fired at Knocknarea Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12.

Upon arriving at the scene, gardaí discovered two vehicles – a black Mercede Benz and a black Volkswagen Golf – which appeared to have been in a collision.

A male in his early 20s was then discovered with gunshot wounds. 

Gardaí offered first aid and despite these attempts, the man was pronounced deceased at the scene.

He has since been named as Josh Itseli, with an address in the Kylemore area of Dublin.

It’s also believed that the incident was gang related.

Gardaí arrested two men and a teenager near the scene and are continuing to question them. 

Gardaí have since recovered an AR-15 assault rifle, and it’s believed this may have been the murder weapon.

The AR-15 was designed for fast reloading in combat situations and can fire dozens of rounds in seconds.

It has been used in numerous mass shootings in the United States and bullets fired from an AR-15 travel at three times the speed than those fired from a typical handgun, causing much more extensive wounds as a result.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Daithí Doolan said the community were in “fear” following the shooting, and that reports an AR-15 was involved “just adds more fear”.

“Some of the residents had to evacuate their homes and they were terrified,” Doolan told The Journal.

“Reports that a high-powered rifle was found just adds more fear to it, that criminal gangs have access to this weaponry.”

However, he called on people to be “cool, calm and vigilant” and to report any information, “no matter how small or insignificant it may seem”, to gardaí.

Lord Mayor Daithí de Róiste also called on anyone with “any bit of information whatsoever” to report it to gardaí and described reports an AR-15 was used as a “worrying development”.

Meanwhile, Doolan told The Journal that one local resident described the shooting incident as “a bit like the Wild West because there was an outburst of gunfire and it was quite erratic”.

Doolan said one of the bullets hit the local community centre.

“With this high-powered weaponry, people are fearful that it’s more indiscriminate,” said Doolan.

Elsewhere, People Before Profit councillor Hazel de Nortúin told The Journal that there is an “awful lot of shock in the community because it’s been a very quiet area for a very long time”.

“I know we’ve had some incidents in the past, but nothing on this level,” de Nortúin added.

She also referenced one of the bullets hitting the local community centre and added: “People are dumbfounded as to how this could happen in such a residential area.

“It’s unfortunate that a life was lost and condolences to the family, but it’s also very surprising that nobody else was severely injured in it.

“There’s so much that could have gone wrong for innocent bystanders or people just going through their daily routines.

“There’s now a level of fear around if it’s safe to let kids out on the street and it affects everybody.”

She told The Journal that questions now need to be asked about “how this escalated and if there is going to be a fallout from it”.

“Is this going to be something that’s going to escalate and be seen again on the streets, that’s the type of stuff we’ll be focusing on,” said de Nortúin.

“We need to make sure that the interagency groups have it under control, and that’s what residents want to hear.

“They want to hear what exactly the guards, Dublin City Council, youth services, the HSE, and what everyone is doing to address this and identify it.

“We always want to be linked in as much as we can with young people to make sure that we’re giving them services, that we are open for them to come in if they do have any concerns, to reach people before things escalate.

“Funding to youth services, I think that’s the best resource to be dealing with any sort of issues like this, getting to those hard-to-reach people before we lose them, getting in early is the key resolution to this.”

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