A Garda investigation is under way this afternoon after a business owner shot one member of a three man gang as they attempted to break into his premises at Killoe, Co Longford earlier this morning.
The incident took place at around 6:30am when the business owner was asleep and just yards from a furniture store that almost adjoins the family home.
It’s understood the entrepreneur awoke to find three men approaching his premises from a rural laneway as both he and his family lay asleep in bed.
Sources this morning revealed the owner shouted to the gang on several occasions not to come any further before firing one shot from a single barrel shotgun.
As the incident unfolded, one gang member sustained a gunshot wound to the upper body while the other two men fled the scene on foot.
Locals were, this morning, reluctant to speak on the incident. A neighbour said she heard activity outside her window at around 7am.
“It’s a bit worrying when it is on your own doorstep,” she told longfordleader.ie as uniformed officers continued to cordon off the scene.
Gardai, who arrived on the scene within minutes of the shooting, arrested the injured man a short distance away. A coat, believed to have been worn by the man during the course of the botched raid, was also recovered.
Two other men, both of whom are in their mid 20s, were arrested by detectives a short time later. One man was arrested driving a van on the main N4 Edgeworthstown to Dublin road as the search for the third man commenced, resulting in the Garda Air Support Unit being drafted in.
The third suspect was eventually stopped by gardai almost ten miles away in the mid Longford village of Ennybegs, Killoe.
Two of the men are currently being questioned by gardai at Longford Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1994 where they can be held for up to 24 hours.
The injured man, meanwhile, is being treated at Mullingar’s Midlands Regional Hospital for what were described this morning as non-life threatening injuries.
News of the shooting comes barely a month after the Government introduced the Criminal (Defence and Dwelling) Act 2011, giving householders greater licence to defend themselves against intruders.