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Katie Taylor: Man dies after shooting at gym of boxer's father

Bray Boxing Club shooting Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption The shooting happened at Bray Boxing Club in County Wicklow

A 50-year-old man has died after a shooting at an Irish gym founded by the father of boxing champion Katie Taylor.

Pete Taylor was one of two other men injured at the club in County Wicklow. Irish police said their injuries were "serious" but not life threatening.

The man who died was Wicklow man Bobby Messett.

A gunman, wearing either a balaclava or a boxing helmet, entered Bray Boxing Club and fired a number of shots at about 06:55 local time.

Mr Messett has been described as an innocent man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The getaway vehicle, a silver Volkswagen van with a Northern Ireland licence plate, was found burnt out close to the East Link Toll Plaza, near to the River Liffey in Dublin city centre.

Gardai (Irish police) said it is believed that this van travelled from Bray through Shankill and the Cornelscourt area before being abandoned on Pigeon House Road at about 08:05 local time where a man was seen leaving the van and cycling away.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Pete Taylor is Katie Taylor's former trainer and worked with her during her amateur career

Katie Taylor is the woman's unified lightweight champion and won gold at the 2012 London Olympics.

Handgun

Supt Patrick Ward said there was about 15 to 20 people in the gym when the shooting took place.

"They were about to start the gym session when a gunman came in carrying a firearm - we believe it was a handgun."

He added that police believed the man who was killed was "just using the gym like anyone else" and they did not know the exact number of shots fired but that "more people could have been injured".

Image copyright PA
Image caption A garda search team at the harbour wall near Bray Boxing Club in County Wicklow

"We know the gunman left the scene in a silver Volkswagen Caddy. We don't know if he was accompanied by a driver or if anybody else was with him."

He appealed for any witnesses who were around the gym on Tuesday morning, or anyone with dashcam footage or any other videos of the scene, to get in touch with police.


Who is Katie Taylor?

For many people, the 2012 Olympics in London was their first introduction to Katie Taylor.

She won gold in the lightweight division while cheered on by a roof-raising Irish crowd at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London.

But the Bray-born boxer was a highly-successful and dominant amateur fighter leading up to her Olympic success after being trained by her father Pete.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Katie Taylor was an Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion as an amateur boxer

He was in her corner during her run to the gold medal in London as well as when she claimed five world championship gold medals.

The pair split in 2016 months before the Rio Olympics, in which she was surprisingly beaten in the quarter-finals.

In October 2016, Ms Taylor turned professional. She had been linked with a move to the professional ranks since missing out on a medal in Rio.

She won her first world title as a professional in October 2017, outpointing Argentina's Anahi Sanchez.


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