A RUTHLESS hitman armed with a machine gun calmly reloaded his weapon after emptying his magazine when he blasted two innocent people to death, we can reveal.
Clinton Shannon – who was set to celebrate his 31st birthday today – was shot dead in Ballymun, Dublin on Wednesday seconds before the assassin killed mum-of-six Antoinette Corbally.
Clinton, a window firm director, had only recently befriended intended target Derek ‘Bottler’ Devoy.
He was hit in the chest, head and leg as he sat in a car outside the Devoys’ Balbutcher Drive home when a hooded gunman opened fire.
Antoinette, 48, was slain in the hallway of her home as her sibling Bottler — who was holding a child when the gunman opened fire — bolted from the rear of the property.
Her pregnant niece Andrea Corbally was hospitalised after being showered with glass.
Another man, Brian Moran, also remains in hospital after he was blasted in the leg as the gunman raked the house with gunfire.
None of Wednesday’s shooting victims, nor those at the house during the attack, are involved in any feud or criminality.
The gunman and getaway driver then fled from the scene. Officers later recovered a handgun and sub-machine gun in a partially burnt-out getaway car.
Detectives spent yesterday conducting house-to-house inquiries and trawling through CCTV in a bid to identify the killers. They also examined the two stolen getaway motors — an Opel Zafira and a Volkswagen Golf.
The main theory being probed is a local gang was behind the hit as part of an ongoing Ballymun feud.
There have been a number of murder bids in the last year, cars damaged and homes targeted in drive-by shootings.
But investigators haven’t ruled out the mob run by key Kinahan crony Greg ‘Scarface’ Lynch after they were linked to the killing of ‘Mad’ Mickey Devoy in January 2014.
They’re also probing if the attack is linked to the shooting of Glen Kiely, 31, in Ballymun in January and the maiming of three teenagers in a shotgun blast in June.
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A source said: “It’s very early days in the investigation and the main train of thought is Devoy was targeted over an ongoing dispute between rival gangs in Ballymun. But gardai will have to look at the prospect Lynch’s associates acted first because they were concerned they might seek revenge for the murder of Mickey Devoy.
“The two killings show how these feuds can quickly escalate with innocent people getting caught up in the madness.”
Gardai in Ballymun — who were already on high alert because of growing tensions in the area — have voiced fears of further attacks.
A source added: “Frontline officers on the ground are genuinely concerned there could be a shootout with criminals and gardai.
“These people are ruthless and don’t care who stands in their way.” A manhunt for the two killers was continuing last night.
Local resident Carmel Byrne told the Irish Sun: “We heard the babies screaming. The girl was dead.
“She was in the hallway. Yer man ran in, he went in on top of kids and opened fire.
“I ran in and told everyone to get the f*** out in case he’d come back and open fire again.”
Chief Superintendent Lorraine Wheatley urged anyone with any information to come forward.
She said: “We’re particularly interested in people that may have been in Balbutcher Drive at around 4pm or during the course of the day. There are two cars we are interested in. The first is 08 LS 3101, a silver Zafira found in Balbutcher Drive. The second car recovered is a Golf GTI — 06 LH 3466. That was found in Santry Close.
“We would be interested in anyone who has any information about the movement of those vehicles.”
Meanwhile, neighbours close to the murder scene are terrified the feud that fuelled the double murder will continue to tear apart their estate.
An eyewitness told how he saw the killers “panicking” as they tried to torch the Zafira before jumping into another getaway motor hidden just around the corner.
The man, who has lived in the area all his life and asked not to be named, said: “I was just across the way there, I heard the guns go off.
“I ran to the end of the road and seen the two blokes at a car parked on the street.
“One of them had a machine gun on his shoulder and was trying to set fire to a rag or something before throwing it into the car.
“There was neighbours screaming at them and you could see they were panicking and they didn’t get the fire going properly.
“They ran down the steps there and got into a Golf. Then I heard people roaring, ‘Help, help, help’ — and people came out from everywhere. This is all going to kick off now. Would you let it go if someone killed your sister? There’s going to be war.”
Bottler lives across the road from the house where the shooting took place in what locals say is a house with bullet-proof windows.
His mum Nancy was not in the family home on Wednesday when the shooting took place — she has spent the past couple of weeks in hospital recovering from a stroke
An elderly neighbour who has lived on the quiet street for more than 40 years said: “The worst thing about all this is that innocent people got killed. I didn’t hear the gunshots but when I came out the car was on fire and gardai were throwing water on it.
“You should have seen the crowds. I’ve never seen as many people on the road. They were shouting, ‘Let the ambulance in’ because they were in the way of them getting through.
“It’s terrible. Two people lost their lives. There’s always kids hanging around the corner messing but nothing ever like this. It’s shocking.”