The father of the Olympic boxing champion Katie Taylor has been seriously injured after a shooting at his gym in which another man was killed.
The attack happened at Bray Boxing Club in Co Wicklow at about 6.55am. Gardai said the body of the dead man remains at the scene pending the arrival of the state pathologist.
Peter Taylor, 57, and another man aged 35 were taken to hospital with injuries. It is understood that Mr Taylor was shot in the arm although the bullet may have also hit his torso. The injuries are not life-threatening. The other man was hit in the leg.
Pat Ward, the local superintendent, said that the shooting was “out of the blue”. He said that around 15 to 20 people had gathered in the gym to start a fitness session “on a normal day, being undertaken by those that normally do it”.
He added: “They were just about to start their fitness session when somebody came in, a gunman, carrying a firearm, we believe it was a handgun.
“He started opening fire just as they were about to start the session and three people received gunshot wounds. Unfortunately a 50-year-old man died at the scene and two others were injured and they were brought to hospital and are receiving treatment.”
Superintendent Ward said the gunman, who had his face covered by a balaclava or helmet and used a handgun, fled the scene in a Volkswagen Caddy van with Northern Irish number plates. He said it remained unclear whether the assailant was accompanied by a driver.
“We don’t know whether it was indiscriminate or not, that’s the main basis for out investigation,” he said.
Superintendent Ward said he would not confirm the identities of anyone injured in the shooting but it is understood that Mr Taylor was one of them.
Bray Boxing Club was established by Mr Taylor, the father of Katie, Ireland’s Olympic champion boxer and a current world title-holder. It is located at the harbour in Bray town and owned by the local council.
Chris Fox, chairman of the council, said the boxers were in an early morning training session when someone entered the premises and started shooting. He described the injured men as “local Bray lads”, and said that he knew one well and did not believe him to be involved in criminality.
A technical examination of the area is now being carried out amid a a heavy garda presence at the scene.
Simon Harris, the health minister who represents the constituency of Wicklow, tweeted: “Shocking news in Bray this morning. I have no doubt that the Gardai are doing all they can to apprehend those responsible.”
Taylor, 31, trained for the London and Rio Games in the Bray gym but has since turned professional and no longer works with her father.
Article courtesy of The Times