A CRIMINAL investigation has been launched into the fatal shooting by an armed Garda of George Nkencho in Dublin last week.
Nkencho, 27, was shot and killed following a standoff with officers outside his home in Clonee, west Dublin on Wednesday, December 30th.
His death sparked protests, with demonstrators gathering outside a Garda station in Blanchardstown.
The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has formally launched an investigation following an initial examination of the incident.
The decision to investigate further does not necessarily mean the garda who shot Nkencho committed a criminal offence but rather than further investigation is required to determine the precise circumstances around the incident.
It has been noted that a similar proces was followed in a previous instance of a Garda officer shooting dead another suspect, Mark Hennessy, in May 2018.
In that instance, no criminal prosecution was ever brought forward.
A GSOC spokesperson said: “We can confirm the investigation is now being conducted in accordance with section 98 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.”
A preliminary examination of the incident was completed under section 91 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.
The next stage of the investigation is being completed in line with section 98 of the same Act, for the “purpose of investigating incidents that appear to involve offences”.
Nkencho was shot and killed outside his home on Manorfields Drive by a member of the Garda Armed Support Unit.
Officers had been called to the scene after Nkencho reportedly threatened people and unarmed gardaí with a knife at Hartstown Shopping Centre having already assaulted a supermarket worker.
Gardaí say Nkencho also threatened officers with a knife outside his house and was met with a graduated response.
Officers say a taser and pepper-spray were unsuccessfully deployed before shots were fired.
Around 12 gardaí were present at the scene while several members of Nkencho's family were in the house.