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Dublin: -2°C Tuesday 18 January 2022

Teenage victim of Tallaght shooting may not have been intended target

Gardaí have appealed to the community to reflect on what they have called a “heinous crime”.

The preserved scene at Brookfield Way.
The preserved scene at Brookfield Way.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE 16-YEAR-OLD girl killed while sitting in a parked car at an estate in Tallaght last night may not have been the intended victim of her shooter, Gardaí have said.

Investigating Gardaí in Tallaght told a press conference that although they believe the shooting was planned, they are yet to establish if the deceased was the intended target. One of the lines of inquiry being followed is that she was not.

The victim, named locally as Melanie McCarthy-McMcNamara, was sitting in the back seat of a parked Nissan Almera, when another vehicle passed by and its occupant or occupants discharged a firearm.

The shots were fired at about 10.35pm and it is understood that the 16-year-old was shot at least once in the head. She was taken to Tallaght Hospital but later died from her injuries.

A post-mortem is to be carried out by the State Pathologists’s office this evening.

The other vehicle – a black Hyundai Santa Fe – was later found “in tact” abandoned in the Brown’s Barn area of Citywest. Gardaí are currently carrying out technical examinations. It was not burnt out.

Gardaí also noted that the getaway vehicle was stolen and that the licence plates were not “correct”.

The weapon used in the shooting has not been retrieved but Gardaí said that the initial investigation and ballistics examination indicate a shotgun was used.

‘Reflect and take a step back’

There were three other men in the Nissan Almera with Melanie at the time of the incident. Gardaí confirmed they were all older than Melanie but did not give any further details.

Superintendent John Gilligan said they were all traumatised by the events of the night but are helping with the investigation.

Meanwhile, Chief Superintendent John Manley called the shooting a “particularly heinous crime” but asked the community to “reflect and take a step back”.

He called on the public to provide assistance to the “strong team” of Gardaí that were working to bring the killer or killers to justice.

“Anybody who comes forward with information will be treated with respect and dignity,” added Gilligan.

Three scenes have been preserved by Gardaí, including one at Brookfield Way and another at Brown’s Barn where the getaway vehicle was abandoned. Examinations are also ongoing at a scene at Tallaght Hospital. It is understood the victim was taken to the hospital for treatment in the same Nissan Almera in which she was shot.

Gardaí have appealed for any witnesses or anyone with information to contact them at Tallaght Garda Station on 01 666 6000 or the Confidential Line on 1 800 666 111.

Appeal points have been established at the three scenes, while house-to-house inquiries are also underway. A family liaison officer has been appointed to assist the victim’s family.

Gilligan said Gardaí would like to establish how long the car was parked in Brookfield Way for before the shooting occurred. They also wish to establish the movements of the jeep-like vehicle prior to 10.35pm. They believe it could have been in the area – either parked or driving – for up to 30 minutes prior to the shooting.

“The shooting happened in a quiet cul-de-sac so people could have heard the shots,” he said.

The getaway vehicle left Brookview Way and turned right into Fortunestown Lane in the direction of Citywest.

Earlier today, the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter called the killing “especially shocking” given the age of the victim.

More: Justice Minister condemns shooting dead of 16-year-old girl>

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