A 41-year-old Irishman was shot dead in Benalmadena Wednesday morning.

Police are now reporting that the man was on holiday with his family, and that the shooting was not gang-related.

John O’Neill, a father-of-two from Coolock in Dublin, was in Benalmadena with his girlfriend and children when he was shot outside Coco’s Bar at three in the morning.

Early police reports suggest that a bar brawl between the victim and another man led to the incident.

Police are now searching for a Liverpool man who is suspected to have shot O’Neill, but they have not released his name.

The suspect supposedly left the bar and then returned at a later time to shoot O’Neill twice in the back with a .38 calibre pistol before fleeing the scene.

Several residents called emergency services after hearing the shots but the victim was dead on arrival.

O’Neill was on the Costa del Sol with his girlfriend and two children, aged three years and nine months, to attend a friend’s wedding this weekend.

“It could have happened to anyone…he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said the victim’s heartbroken mother in a statement.

A neighbor of O’Neill’s from Coolock commented that he will be sorely missed: “He was everyone’s best mate. He was just a really nice guy.”

The shocking incident follows last week’s shooting of a 33-year-old British man at his home in Mijas.

The Briton was sitting on a sofa in his living room when a shooter stuck his hand through the window and opened fire.

Because the bullet did not hit any of the man’s internal organs, he was treated at Marbella’s Costa del Sol Hospital and survived and has now returned home.

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