Garda injured in incident which involved high-speed chase across Cork
The incident appears to have been triggered by a domestic incident on Military Road on Cork’s northside at about 11.40pm on Friday night. File photograph: Eric Luke
A 21-year-old man has been arrested for questioning after shooting at gardaí, injuring a uniformed officer in Cork city before being pursued along the main Cork-Dublin motorway, where he again shot at officers before he was tasered and apprehended.
The incident appears to have been triggered by a domestic incident on Military Road on Cork’s northside at about 11.40pm on Friday night, when the man fired a number of shots from a handgun at his estranged partner’s flat before gardaí arrived at the scene.
The man then fired a number of shots at uniformed officers who took cover behind a parked car, but one officer received a minor graze wound to the arm before the man jumped into his former partner’s car and took off at speed in the direction of Glanmire.
The man made his way to the main Cork-Dublin N8 motorway, pursued by members of the Armed Support Unit from Cork, and he rammed through the Toll Plaza at speed before the North Cork Roads Policing Unit deployed a stinger device to try and bring the car to a halt.
The stinger device successfully punctured the four tyres on the man’s car but he continued driving on his wheel rims for another 3km before he crashed into the central median and exited the vehicle and began shooting at members of the ASU.
Members of the ASU returned fire, hitting the vehicle a number of times before the man dropped his gun and began running up the road away from the officers who successfully tasered him on the roadway at Curraghprevin between Rathcormac and Fermoy.
Members of the ASU handcuffed and arrested him and conveyed him to Fermoy Garda Station where he is currently detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act which allows gardaí hold suspects for up to three days.
Gardaí recovered a firearm at the scene near Curraghprevin and it has been sent to the Garda Ballistics Unit for a technical examination, while gardaí are carrying out an examination of the vehicle to see whether or not the man may have had a second weapon.
Gardaí closed off both Military Road, which is near the St Luke’s area of the city and the M8 Cork Dublin motorway in both directions between Junction 15 and Junction 17, and put diversions in place to allow a technical examiners carry out forensic examinations at both locations.
It’s understood that the 21-year-old suspect was known previously to Garda for minor road traffic matters, but that he had never featured for anything as serious as a shooting and gardaí have today begun investigating whether the man may have some mental health issues in recent weeks.
Gardaí will also investigate how exactly the man obtained the firearm, believed to be a pellet gun, while Garda management have formally notified the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission after members of the ASU discharged their weapons in the course of their interaction with the suspect.
It’s the second time in the space of less than two months that members of the ASU in Cork have discharged their weapons and follows an incident in Mallow on May 21st when gardaí say an officer discharged his weapon at a car that failed to stop at a checkpoint and was driven at an unarmed officer.
One man was subsequently taken to hospital for minor injuries and he was later charged with drug offences as was a second man with the incident also being referred to GSOC for investigation as a result of one of the parties suffering an injury in the interaction with gardaí.