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Gardaí believe fatal shooting outside Swords gym connected to local drugs trade

Zach Parker (23) was killed and another man was seriously injured.

Updated Jan 18th 2019, 11:56 AM

SWORDS SHOOTING SWORDS SHOOTING 758A8553_90562556 The scene of the shooting last night. Source: Eamonn Farrell

THE MAN WHO was shot dead outside a gym in Dublin last night has been named as Zach Parker.

The 23-year-old was fatally injured in the incident, which happened outside a gym in the Applewood Close area of Swords. He died at the scene. 

Gardaí have launched a murder investigation. 

A second man, aged 25, was seriously injured in the shooting and taken to Beaumont Hospital. It’s understood he suffered injuries to his shoulder and jaw. He will undergo surgery later this afternoon but his condition is said to be stable and his injuries not life threatening. 

Gardaí believe the shooting is related to the local drugs trade, and is not part of the ongoing gangland feud. 

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It’s understood both men were known to gardaí for minor offences. Parker was also convicted for dealing drugs after being caught with almost €3,000 worth of cocaine in February 2017.

Speaking at a media briefing today, Superintendent Gerry Donnelly of Swords Garda Station however said there was no indication the second man was targeted. 

“There is nothing to suggest the injured man was targeted in any way. All the indications are at this stage and from looking at the CCTV footage, that it was the driver who was targeted,” he told reporters. 

Making a public appeal for information, Superintendent Donnelly also outlined the men’s movements from when they left the GymPlus premises in Applewood Close shortly before 7.30pm. 

They were driving toward Jugback Lane in a BMW X5 when a lone gunman approached the driver side of the car, he said. The gunman then discharged five shots into the window, fatally injuring Zach Parker, and injuring the 25-year-old. 

“After the shooting, the gunman left on foot – onto Jugback Lane. From that point, we don’t have a direction of travel or if he was assisted by a getaway vehicle,” continued Donnelly.

The gunman is described as tall, athletic build… he was wearing a black hoody-type top with a black scarf wrapped around his face. He had black tracksuit bottoms on him, black runners with white soles and what is significant about him is that he had a rucksack on his back – a lighter-coloured rucksack, possibly grey, and we believe the handgun that was used in the shooting was concealed in that rucksack.

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“My appeal is for witnesses who may have been in the Applewood area, particularly around the GymPlus, Applewood Close and Jugback Lane and the Balheary Road area of Swords and any motorist who was passing that area who may have dashcam footage – there may be something on it that may be of significance to us, particularly from 6.30pm to 8pm last night. I would ask people if they can assist us to contact Swords Garda Station on 01 666 4700 or the Confidential Line 1 800 666 111.”

He also asked for the Parker’s privacy to be respected as they grieve. 

The superintendent also moved to reassure residents that the area remains safe and that patrols will be adjusted accordingly, if required. 

“This is a very quiet area. There is nothing to suggest that this locality is linked to the crime … It just happened to happen here because this person attended the gym. There is nothing sinister in relation to the actual area,” he said. 

With reporting by Órla Ryan  

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