THE gunman who blasted Eric Fowler launched his deadly ambush after patiently staking out the mobster’s gaff from nearby bushes.

The cold-blooded assassin is believed to have been lying in wait for more than an hour before his target turned up and he opened fire with a handgun as he locked his car.

The Irish Sun can also reveal that Fowler had no reason to believe he was on a hit list when he was shot in his driveway at Blakestown Cottages in west Dublin on Saturday evening.

Contrary to reports, the 34-year-old had not been informed by cops that his life was under threat.

And in a further development, it has emerged that the getaway car used by Fowler’s killers was bought in a private sale last Tuesday.

After the brutal 7pm execution, the shooter jumped into a waiting silver Volkswagen Jetta bearing the registration plate 06-MH-3192.

It was later found burnt out a few kilometres away in Rushaheeney Crescent in Clonee.

Gardai have been examining CCTV footage to establish whether the killer had an accomplice in the car.

Their murder investigation is focusing on the ties that Fowler had to both sides in the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

We can reveal that he was very closely associated with senior Kinahan cartel member Ross Browning.

A source said: “He had no reason to believe that he was in danger. A suspect has not been established. Gardai are keeping an open mind.”

Cops also believe that the killing could be connected to the arrest nearby of Estonian hitman Imre Arakas, who arrived in Ireland last year to whack Hutch associate James ‘Mago’ Gately on behalf of the Kinahans.

The dead man, who had a partner and young children, was related to Shane Fowler, who was killed in a motorcycle accident last May while on his way to assassinate Kinahan mobster ‘Mr Flashy’.

Gardai haven’t yet ruled out that his murder is connected to a local feud in the Blanchardstown and Finglas area.

Yesterday senior investigator Superintendent Liam Carolan appealed for anyone with information on Fowler’s murder to come forward.

He said: “There are a number of strands in the investigation. Organised crime is clearly a strong avenue but there could be multiple other reasons so rather than focus on one, all aspects will be explored.

“We are putting in place a number of armed patrols over Christmas in the area and also high visibility policing — it’s to reassure the community, to allay any fears people might have.”

Fowler’s body was only removed from the Blakestown Road kill scene yesterday morning as garda technical experts began forensic examinations.

A post-mortem was due to take place at Dublin City Mortuary last night.

Fowler, who ran a car wash and valeting service beside his home, had been slapped with a two-year road ban earlier this month.

Blanchardstown District Court heard that he told cops: “I’ve been drinking and driving, arrest me”, when they stopped him in April.