A Dublin court was shown CCTV footage showing the moment that a man was shot to death by assault rifle-wielding hitmen during a boxing weigh in.
Gerry Hutch (59) has pleaded not guilty in the murder of David Byrne (34) at the Regency Hotel, the city, on 5 February 2016.
Five gunmen dressed up as police officers and three carrying AK47-type guns attacked the weigh in as part of Ireland’s Hutch Kinahan gang feud. The attack claimed the lives of 18 people.
Today, video evidence from hotel security cameras was shown to the Special Criminal Court.
As panicked guests flee the hotel in panic, David Byrne is seen being shot by the police imposter “Tactical One”, then being shot again by “Tactical Two”.
He collapses at the feet of the reception desk. The lower half of his body is visible in the frame.
Tactical Two was seen jumping onto the reception desk to look for another man, then turning around and firing at least one more shot into David Byrne’s prone body.
The assault rifles can be seen ejecting cartridges and there are blood spots on the ground.
Minutes earlier, another gunman, one in a wig and disguised to be a woman, was captured on camera walking arm in arm through the hotel. The gunmen opened fire using handguns and caused a mass exodus to the main entrance of the hotel where they began shooting.
The five-member team fled to a silver Ford Transit van, which was waiting for them. A sixth accomplice drove them away.
The CCTV footage was not released to the media.
“Catastrophic gunshot injuries of the head”
Post-mortem revealed that David Byrne was killed by six gunshot wounds from a high velocity weapon.
Today, Dr Michael Curtis, former Deputy State Pathologist, testified via video link that he found evidence of gunshot injuries to Mr Byrne’s head when he examined the remains.
Dr Curtis stated that the victim was shot above the right eyebrow, and then again on his right side. David Byrne was also hit by another bullet through his waistband. A second round passed through his right hand while another went through his left. The fifth bullet went through Mr Byrne’s thighs. Another gunshot was fired at his right thigh.
The victims had a bullet that had been ejected from their bodies, and it was discovered in their clothing. His coat hood contained two artificial teeth.
Dr Curtis stated that the man died from six gunshot wounds sustained by a high velocity weapon. “The injuries suffered would have proven fatal quickly if not instantly.”
“Get the f*** from here”
Eyewitnesses who were present at the hotel attack during the trial reported the trial earlier.
Colin O’Riordan, a press photographer, told the court that he had met the purported police officers after hearing at most a dozen gunshots.
He said, “I stood still as I was afraid for my life.” “I tried to be as non-threatening as possible. I raised my arms and said, “Guard, I don’t know where I should go.” I then took a step back.
He said that the gunmen passed him with their assault rifles crossed across their bodies.
According to Mr O’Riordan, Robin Schiller, a journalist, had previously told him that he had seen Daniel Kinnehan at the hotel just before the shooting started.
The photographer testified that he heard one member of the gang say “he was not there, I couldn’t find him”, while the other said “get out of here” before they got back in the silver van and fled.
“There was a lot shouting and screaming,” said Mr O’Riordan.
The ‘Masked Gardai’ rushed to the hotel bar
James McGettigan, the Regency Hotel’s director in 2016, testified that the doors to the bar opened abruptly and that “masked Gardai”, rushed towards the bar in an “extremely aggressive” manner.
One of the presenters shouted to everyone to lie down on the ground.
McGettigan said, “They shouted they were looking for boxesers, and were they?” McGettigan remained in front of one gunman in police gear and stated that he could see his eyes and believed he wasn’t a police officer because of his small stature and young age.
Later, McGettigan locked himself in a separate room and tried to dial 999. However, he claimed it took him three attempts to reach the police.
Gerry Hutch was extradited to Ireland from Spain in August 2021 for trial on murder charges. Paul Murphy, 59, and Jason Bonney (50), are both charged with conspiring to commit the murder through the provision of vehicles.
The trial of these men will last at most 12 weeks.