- Trevor O’Neill was shot dead in Majorca in front of his wife and children
- Police probing possibility it could have been a case of mistaken identity
- They believe he may have been confused for Irish gangster when shot
- Murder squad detectives are now trying to stop killer from leaving island
A father-of-three who was shot dead in front of his wife and children in Majorca in what is believed to have been a case of mistaken identity has been named as Trevor O’Neill.
Mr O’Neill, 33, from Ireland was gunned down in the middle of the street with police probing the possibility he may have been confused for an Irish gangster.
He was shot up to four times in the back, although no bullet casings were found at the scene.
The killer was said to have been overheard in a bar bragging about the crime he was about to pull off.
Police are said to have spoken to the key witness as they hunt the gunman and two suspected accomplices.
They escaped a police lockdown of the area following the shooting just after 9pm on Monday in Costa de la Calma, around 15 miles from the capital Palma in the south west of the island.
It is believed the Mr O’Neill’s wife was wheeling their child in a pushchair when he was gunned down.
Initial reports pointed to the dead man being the latest victim of a bloody gangland feud between the Kinahan and Hutch families which has led to a spate of murders on the Costa del Sol and Ireland in recent years.
But one Palma-based paper reported today police are probing the possibility he was gunned down by mistake after being confused for a Dublin criminal because of his likeness to him.
And the family of the Dublin City Council worker Mr O’Neill told the Sun: ‘He had nothing to do with the Hutches or the Kinahans.
‘Please, please let people know that he had nothing to do with the Hutches or the Kinahans or gangland or any of that.
‘He was never in his life in trouble with Gardai. We can’t bear to think that people would associate him with them.’
An eyewitness, who asked not to be named, said there had been a large group of Irish holidaymakers outside a supermarket when the attack began.
She said: ‘It was pandemonium at first. People were screaming and running in all directions.
‘The wife of the man that was shot had one of their children who must have been aged around seven in a pushchair that she was wheeling along when the victim was gunned down.
‘That child and another with her must have seen what had happened. Another two children were behind them and wouldn’t have seen it and the woman turned round and screamed at them as it happened and that gave them time to run for cover in a side street.
‘I know that lady was married to the victim because when we ran out to tend to the injured man she kept on repeating the word ‘Wife, Wife.’
We took her to one side and I got some water for her and held the man’s hand to try to encourage him to keep his eyes from closing while we waited for the ambulance to arrive.
‘He had a bullet wound in his lower back and I couldn’t see any other wounds.
‘He couldn’t talk and his eyes started to close and go yellow and then white and his mouth changed colour.
‘Another neighbour was trying to stem the flow of blood from the wound.
‘The ambulance took about 25 minutes to arrive and by the time they did he was agonising.
‘The local police who were the first on the scene got there about three minutes earlier and started trying to revive him with heart massages.
‘But it was all too late. When they took him away to hospital I knew he hadn’t made it.’
A suspect in a blue hoodie was seen fleeing the scene, although murder squad detectives are understood to be looking for two accomplices.
Armed police – some carrying machine guns and wearing bullet-proof vests – patrolled the street where the murder occurred outside an empty supermarket which was sealed off as forensic experts moved in following a failed attempt to revive the victim at the scene.
An-all-ports alert remained in place this morning as murder squad detectives sought to stop the assassins fleeing the island.
There was no official comment from the Guardia Civil, which is heading the murder probe, to the newspaper’s claims.
A nearby bar owner said he had seen a man in a blue hoodie drawn tightly round his face running away after hearing three shots he mistook for firecrackers.
Workers at a restaurant near the murder scene say they were asked to take care of around six children aged eight to 15 they claim police told them were relatives of the dead man while they quizzed a woman thought to be his partner who was with him when he was shot.
The Costa del Sol and Ireland has been rocked by a series of tit-for-tat killings blamed on the two feuding Irish gangs.
In February gangster David Byrne was shot dead at Dublin’s Regency Hotel during the the weigh-in of Jamie Kavanagh, the boxing pal of Irish godfather Christy Kinahan’s son Daniel.
Byrne, 32, was aligned to Christy Kinahan’s gang, nowadays said to be led by Daniel.
The shooting, which followed the September 2014 killing of Jamie’s gangster dad Gerard at a pub near Marbella, was seen as retaliation for the assassination in September last year of Gary Hutch in Miraflores near Fuengirola.
Gary’s uncle Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch has been blamed for ordering the hit on Byrne as part of an all-out war with the Kinahan gang.
His brother Eddie was shot dead three days after the Regency Hotel attack in a feud which one major criminal has warned would only end when Daniel Kinahan, who until recently lived in Marbella, was killed.
Christy and Daniel are now said to have relocated to Dubai to escape the threats to their lives.
Since Eddie Hutch’s killing on February 8 at his home, at least three murders in Ireland have been linked the gangland feud.