A man shot dead in a brazen drive-by shooting may have links to the suspects behind the firebombing of several tobacco stores in Melbourne.
A 27-year-old man was shot dead in a bullet-riddled Mercedes luxury SUV, while another 28-year-old man was seriously injured at Craigieburn Central shopping center on Saturday at around 3pm.
Four masked gunmen remain on the run after targeting the two men as they sat in the car on Windrock Avenue.
The slain man is believed to be linked to the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang, the Herald Sun reported.
Police are investigating whether a battle for control of Melbourne’s lucrative tobacco trade is linked to the latest gangland execution in the city on Saturday afternoon. A scene from the aftermath of the shooting is photographed
It is the third brazen public killing in Melbourne in the past two months, all believed to be linked to the city’s criminal gangs.
The victim, aged 27, is believed to have links to a well-known triggerman who is aligned with the Comancheros.
The gunman is believed to have been at war with another organized crime syndicate, with the conflict resulting in firebombing attacks on businesses such as tobacco stores.
Images from Saturday’s shooting showed a white Mercedes GLC250 SUV peppered with several bullet holes.
The passenger window was blown out by nine gunshots, with at least three other apparent bullet marks denting the front windshield.
Four more bullets were fired through the rear window, and a fifth into the tailgate of the luxury car.
Emergency workers rushed to the mall and fought to save one man, but he died at the scene while the other man was taken to hospital in serious condition.
One victim could be seen being treated on the ground near the driver’s door of the vehicle, partially hidden by screens installed by police while paramedics worked on her.
The attack shocked witnesses, who fled to safety, and quickly attracted distraught relatives of the victims to the scene.
A distressed man had to be stopped from trying to reach the scene as horrified passers-by looked on, while an older man broke down in tears and cried in grief.
The suspected shooters approached the car on foot before fleeing in a luxury SUV, with police investigating whether a black Range Rover Sport found burnt out in Broad St, Westmeadows, is linked to the attack.
A second burned car was found around 5:30 p.m. on an embankment near Merri Creek in Reservoir.
A man was shot dead in a bullet-riddled luxury SUV (pictured), while another was seriously injured at Craigieburn Central shopping center around 3pm on Saturday.
Veronica Estimova, who works at Elevate 24:7 Fitness, a few meters from where the shooting took place, said she heard a “loud bang.”
“It was quite scary, we didn’t know what was happening,” Ms Estimova said.
“A group of people ran into the gym and said there had been a drive-by shooting, they said they saw a young man lying on the ground…
“It’s very concerning, you wouldn’t expect something like this to happen in broad daylight.”
Victoria Police are reportedly investigating whether the latest murder is linked to a drive-by shooting at Excelsior Heights in Craigieburn on September 14.
A couple in their 50s, who were apparently not the intended target, were sleeping inside the home at the time and were not injured.
Around fifteen bullets were fired through the window of the property.
The shooting came just days after a gang executed biker boss Gavin “Capable” Preston, riddled with bullets while he was having breakfast with the son of his former partner Nabil “Mad Lebo” Maghnie in Keilor. , in Melbourne’s northwest.
Abbas Maghnie Jr, known as AJ, was shot in the stomach while fleeing from Preston’s executioner in a cafe on September 8, but managed to survive.
The masked assassin and his driver reportedly parked opposite the scene of the attack for three hours before the deadly ambush.
Preston, 50, was hit by 10 bullets in a broad daylight shooting at the Sweet Lulus cafe.
A chilling 40-second clip of the killing showed a hooded, black man sprinting toward the cafe’s outdoor seating area and shooting in the direction of Preston.
Terrified diners threw themselves to the floor and covered their faces as the notorious criminal slumped in his seat and fell to the floor next to his table.
As the shooter fled, two women checked each other for injuries before grabbing their purses and fleeing the cafe.
Two men then cautiously approached Preston, who was motionless next to the table where seconds earlier he was eating breakfast.
Preston’s distraught fiancée Lauran Howe had to be restrained by police officers after arriving at the cafe following the shooting.
The 40-second clip shows a man dressed in black sprinting towards the cafe’s outdoor seating area and firing a burst of bullets in Preston’s direction.
“That’s my husband,” she could be heard shouting as she tried to get through the police tape cordoning off the scene for the public.
Ms Howe eventually had to be taken away by officers with another man, also known to Preston, also pinned to the ground by officers.
The suspected shooters are believed to have fled the scene in a black Audi Q5. Two burned cars were found after the shooting, including one just 500 meters from the scene.
The luxury SUV was found abandoned near Blair Court before the gunmen fled in a second car.
Underworld figure Gavin “Capable” Preston was shot dead at the Sweet Lulus cafe in the village of Keilor, in Melbourne’s northwest, in September.