Bullet misses Garda's head by 'pure luck' after man shot hunting rifle at patrol car

Bullet misses Garda's head by 'pure luck' after man shot hunting rifle at patrol car

A GARDA officer is lucky to be alive after a bullet narrowly missed hitting him in the head when a man fired his hunting rifle at a patrol car.

The incident happened in Glenties, Co. Donegal in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The gunman, a man in his 20s, was reportedly on a hunting trip with his brother and father before the shooting occurred.

He was firing his hunting rifle down a main road, as well as at a house and a car with a man inside before gardai arrived at the scene.

A shot was then fired at a gardai patrol car, with the bullet fizzing past an officer's ear and exiting the vehicle through one of the windows.

"This man started firing indiscriminately down the main street," a source told Extra.ie.

"He shot at a house and a car with a man sitting in it.

"He then shot at the patrol car. The Garda was sitting in the car and the shot went by his ear, in one window and out the other.

"It is down to pure luck that the bullet didn’t hit this Garda in the head."

A brief standoff occurred between officers and the gunman before gardai managed to arrest him and take to Ballyshannon Garda Station where he is detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939.

They also arrested his father and brother.

It's believed the gunman was drinking and may have taken another substance before the incident.

"No shots were fired by Gardai during the incident and there have been no reports of any injuries," a spokesperson for An Garda Siochana said.

Garda Brendan O’Connor, Garda Representative Association central executive committee member for Donegal, paid tribute to the 'courage and dedication' of the Garda who was narrowly missed by the bullet and other members who attended the scene.

He also commended the 'restraint' shown by Gardai in bringing the incident to an end peacefully.

A rifle, a hunting knife and a number of rounds of ammunition were seized from the man, and investigations are still ongoing.