Jastine Valdez's killer was killed with a single bullet, says GSOC

image copyrightPA
image captionPolice traced a vehicle to the man who was later shot dead on Sunday

The man who abducted and murdered a student was shot dead by Gardaí (Irish police) in the driver's seat of his car, according to a police watchdog.

Mark Hennessy, 40, was shot dead by officers searching for Jastine Valdez in south Dublin on Sunday night.

An investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) found he also had wounds consistent with self-harming on his body.

Ms Valdez's body was found on Monday. A post mortem was carried out on Tuesday.

The fatal shooting incident was referred to the GSOC on Sunday and a team of investigators from Cork were at the scene from 23:50 local time.

image copyrightRTE
image captionMr Hennessy was a father of two from County Wicklow

A garda service weapon was recovered from the scene by GSOC along with the remaining ammunition and one spent cartridge in the firearm.

A stanley knife was subsequently recovered from Mr Hennessy's Nissan Qashqai which had been the subject of a garda alert.

Post mortem results

A post mortem on Monday established that Mr Hennessy had been shot in the shoulder and that the bullet entered his torso, causing the fatal injuries.

GSOC investigators are currently collecting evidence including video footage of the incident.

image copyrightPA
image captionMs Valdez's suspected abductor Mark Hennessy was shot in Cherrywood in south Dublin by Gardaí

The investigators are in possession of a recording from an automatic number plate recognition camera that was in the garda car at the scene.

CCTV recordings from premises in the vicinity have been also provided to GSOC investigators.

Garda appeal

Gardaí investigating the murder of 24-year-old Ms Valdez have continued their appeal to the public for information.

They are particularly interested in the whereabouts of a blue shoulder bag and an Apple Mini iPad belonging to the victim.

They are also continuing their appeal for information regarding the movements of the black Nissan Qashqai, registered number 171 D 20419.


Ms Valdez, a Filipino student, was abducted as she was walking to her home in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, on Saturday evening.

A post mortem on Tuesday found she died by strangulation.

The scene where her body was found remains sealed off for a third day as gardaí continue to search for evidence.

On Tuesday, hundreds of people attended a vigil for Ms Valdez in Enniskerry, including members of the Filipino community.

A minute's silence was held in her memory and a book of condolence was also opened.

An online fundraiser for Ms Valdez's family has raised more than €100,000 (£88,469) to date. It initially had a goal of €10,000 (£8,762), but surpassed this target within a matter of hours.

The GoFundMe page was set up by Outreach Ireland, a group which works with the Filipino community.

It says all funds raised will go directly to Ms Valdez's parents to help them in the coming weeks.

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