By Patrick Markey
Police investigating the shooting murder of Irish immigrant Francis O’Loughlin are still searching for his accused killer, who may have fled to the Dominican Republic, according to a law enforcement source.
O’Loughlin, 32, from Kilkenny, died after being shot once in the back of the head early this month inside the Mad Ass Tavern in Sunnyside, Queens. The alleged killer, Miguel Valerio, from Corona, Queens, worked as a porter in the bar.
Police believe the two men had been involved in a dispute over several weeks, possibly over O’Loughlin’s girlfriend, who worked behind the bar. O’Loughlin and Valerio had argued a week before the shooting and then again exchanged words again on Saturday, Sept. 5, the day O’Loughlin was shot.
Valerio has been on the run since and detectives are now investigating the possibility that he may have fled the country.
Friends of O’Loughlin said he had been waiting for his girlfriend to finish work at the 43rd Street bar when he was killed. At approximately 2:30 a.m., when O’Loughlin went into the bathroom, Valerio alleged followed him inside and shot him once in the head with a large caliber revolver. O’Loughlin was taken in critical condition to Elmhurst Hospital, where he died two days later.
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Police describe Valerio, 28, as a light-skinned Hispanic man, approximately 5-foot-8 and weighing about 180 pounds. He has medium-length hair, and was last seen wearing a short-sleeve red shirt and black shorts.