THE RUC constable who killed three men at a Sinn Fein office before killing himself had earlier telephoned a colleague and threatened to shoot republican suspects, an inquest in Belfast was told yesterday.
A colleague told the inquest that Constable Allen Moore had made the threats in a telephone conversation and asked him: 'Am I scaring you yet?' The officer said he did not take the threat to shoot other people seriously, but was worried that the constable might shoot himself.
The inquest, expected to last three weeks, is into the deaths of Constable Moore, 24, and the three men he killed in February 1992, Patrick Loughran, 61, and Pat McBride, 40, both Sinn Fein members, and Michael O'Dwyer, 21. Constable Moore killed them with a shotgun and later used the gun to shoot himself.
The previous night he had been apprehended by police in Comber, a quiet Co Down town, after he had fired shots over the grave of another RUC officer. A police sergeant said that later that night Constable Moore had called at his home in an intoxicated, agitated and dishevelled state. He said that Constable Moore had complained about the behaviour of colleagues who attended an RUC man's funeral earlier in the day, claiming they had failed to show proper respect. He had been subject to mood swings, from calm to aggressive and back again.
The sergeant said Constable Moore told him he had gone to the grave of Constable Norman Spratt, who had been killed in a domestic incident, and fired shots over it. He had been mumbling to himself and saying how stupid he had been because his car had been taken from him by other officers as he drove from the cemetery.
Another officer gave evidence that Constable Moore had telephoned him in the early hours of the morning, on the day of the Sinn Fein office shooting, threatening to shoot republican suspects in Armagh, where he had previously been stationed.
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