Man Recalls Horror At Being Carjacked In Daylight At Southland Shopping Centre

October 4th, 2016

A man has told of his terror at being forced from his car by three men at a busy suburban shopping centre car park on Monday afternoon.

Monash University graduate and part-time tutor, Ben van Mierlo, 21, had driven to Southland shopping centre in Cheltenham to pick up his husband, Jay, from work.

Three men forced Ben van Mierlo, pictured right with husband Jay, from his car at Southland shopping centre.

Three men forced Ben van Mierlo, pictured right with husband Jay, from his car at Southland shopping centre.  Photo: Supplied

Mr van Mierlo was chatting on the phone to his mother Roslyn about borrowing the family tent for a camping trip he was planning as he drove his Toyota Yaris into the shopping centre car park about 1.25pm and pulled into a vacant bay.

“I don’t even remember if I turned the car off. I had seriously just got into the park,” Mr van Mierlo said.

“As soon as the car stopped, the driver’s door opened, I thought it was Jay …and then I looked up and I saw this guy in a really puffy jacket, really dark colour.

“He yelled and screamed at me to ‘get out of the car, get out of the car’.

Mr van Mierlo said the man, who was about 180 centimetres tall and well-built, had an olive complexion, though most of his face was hidden by the jacket’s hood, which was pulled tight around the man’s face. The man was also wearing sunglasses.

“I hesitated, so he grabbed my shirt and pulled me out of the car,” Mr van Mierlo said.

“Then he jumped in the driver’s seat. I am yelling and screaming at him, ‘what are you doing? Stop! Help, someone!’

“And I see two guys come out from this car parked behind me that I hadn’t noticed at all, and they came out, opened the door of my car, they are all now sitting in my car. And they are yelling, ‘go, go’.”

Mr van Mierlo said the driver quickly reversed the car and then drove straight off. The men left behind a white Toyota Hilux ute that police allege was stolen from Dingley Village, in Melbourne’s south-east in the morning.

“I was pretty shocked …really freaked out,” Mr van Mierlo said.

“I ran out …yelling out after the car, ‘that’s my car, that’s my car, someone help’.”

He said bystanders rushed to help him and waited with him until police arrived. One also helped him call his mother, who had been left fearing the worst when her phone conversation with her youngest son was abruptly cut off.

“We were still just finishing off, then all of a sudden I heard, ‘get out of the car, get out of the car’, ‘no, no’, and just a whole lot of noise and ‘beep, beep’,” she said.

“And I am listening to all of this, I am going ‘what’s going on? Ben? Ben?’

“And all of a sudden the phone just cut off.”

“All I could think of was, ‘okay, I didn’t hear a bang. So, he didn’t run into anything, and no one ran into him.”

Ms van Mierlo said all she wanted now was to see the culprits caught and taken off the streets so no one else would have to go through the same experience.

Victoria Police spokeswoman Belinda Batty said Kingston crime investigation unit detectives were appealing for public assistance following two car thefts on Monday.

Ms Batty said after the carjacking,  it was believed the offenders stole a set of number plates, 1CE 6TU, nearby and continued driving.

To compound his loss, Mr van Mierlo also had his prescription glasses and phone, as well as his and his husband Jay’s wallet in the car. Jay’s wallet was later handed in to Caulfield police station.

But, he considered himself lucky to have escaped unharmed.

“So many of these have ended in injuries or worse.  I have got not a scratch on me,” Mr van Mierlo said.

“I am a little shaken up, a little scared …but I am fine.”

Mr van Mierlo said he wanted to thank the people who helped him after the incident.

“They were all so kind,” he said.

“One of the guys, who gave me his phone to dial, was from Northcote, probably rather busy, but he hung around with me the whole time. He offered to drive me home. Just really waited until the police said they were going to help me.”

A woman ran inside to call security and then ran back to tell Mr van Mierlo’s husband about the incident.

Mr van Mierlo said he still could not believe the thieves would dare to strike in the middle of the day at such a public venue.

“If it happens to you in the middle of Southland shopping centre, at 1.30 in the afternoon, I don’t know where anyone is safe.”

Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report to www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

– Neelima Choahan & Broede Carmody

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Former Whittlesea Mayor John Fry Arrested And Charged With Criminal Damage

October 14th, 2016

Former Whittlesea Council mayor John Fry is handcuffed on the ground. Picture: Facebook

Former Whittlesea Council mayor John Fry is handcuffed on the ground. Picture: Facebook

UPDATE: A councillor standing for re-election in Melbourne’s north says he will continue to campaign despite being charged over allegedly defacing election posters.

John Fry, a former Whittlesea Council mayor who is standing for re-election, was this morning allegedly caught by members of the public and restrained while defacing the posters of his opponents.

Speaking after his arrest, Mr Fry told Leader he would not be withdrawing his candidacy for the council elections

“I can’t think of any reason why I wouldn’t continue to stand,” he said.

According to the Victorian Electoral Commission, Mr Fry would only be barred from serving as a councillor if he was convicted of an offence punishable by a term of two years or more.

Under the Local Government Act a person convicted for more than two years is not eligible to be a councillor for eight years after the date of conviction.

Earlier today, Mr Fry was dramatically caught and restrained by members of the public for allegedly defacing election posters.

The incident was photographed by witnesses and posted on the Facebook page of another councillor, Ricky Kirkham. They show Mr Fry handcuffed on the ground — with an aerosol can next to him — and being put in a police van.

Former Whittlesea Council mayor John Fry. Picture: Facebook /  Mr Fry is put in a police van. Picture: Facebook

Detective Acting Sergeant Cameron Pennell said a 60-year-old man had this morning been detained by a member of the public and the police called.

Sgt Pennell said when police arrived at the incident at University Hill, Bundoora, the man was arrested and charged with criminal damage and later bailed.

Any witnesses are urged to contact Sgt Pennell at Mill Park police on 9407 3333.

Mr Fry is standing for re-election to the council on the platform of “say no to corruption”.

– Katrina Hinschen

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George Marrogi Charged And Remanded In Custody Over Campbellfield Shooting Murder

September 28th, 2016

A man has been charged with one count of murder, over a fatal daylight shooting inside a busy shopping centre car park in Melbourne’s north on Monday.

George Marrogi, 27, appeared before a bail justice about 11.30pm on Tuesday, and did not speak during the short hearing.

The scene of Monday's fatal shooting in Campbellfield.

The scene of Monday’s fatal shooting in Campbellfield.  Photo: Channel Nine

The bail justice asked whether the Greenvale man had any medical issues and he replied by shaking his head, to say no.

He nodded when asked whether he had spoken to a solicitor that day.

Detective Senior Constable Julio Salerno  told the hearing the 24-year-old victim was sitting at a bus stop outside Campbellfield Plaza with two other males when Mr Marrogi got out of a red Holden Commodore and fired multiple shots at the victim at 3.40pm.

The victim was hit in the leg, thigh and buttocks and tried to run away but Mr Marrogi allegedly followed the man into an Officeworks car park, before fleeing in the Commodore.

The victim was taken to hospital, but he died at 11.26pm on Monday.

CCTV footage has been reviewed by police. Senior Detective Salerno said Mr Marrogi was not facing any other charges at this stage.

He was remanded in custody and will appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

– Emily Woods

Posted in Armed Offences, Execution-Style Murders, Gangs, Homicide, Murder, Organised Crime, Violent Crime, Weapon and Firearm Possession | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Man Charged Over Execution Murder At Campbellfield Plaza Carpark

September 28th, 2016

Man charged with murder following the daylight execution of another man at a northern suburbs car-park has been remanded in custody until early next year.

Homicide detectives arrested George Marrogi, 27, yesterday amid fears that a northern suburbs gang war was behind the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Southbank man Kadir Ors in the carpark of Campbellfield Plaza on Monday afternoon.

Mr Marrogi, who has survived two dramatic high-speed car crashes, chose not to appear in person at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today.

Police said they expect to finalise the hand-up brief in 12 weeks due to the large amount of CCTV footage to be examined and ongoing investigations to be made.

Police would also be making a request for a DNA forensic report.

Mr Marrogi, who was charged with one count of murder, will reappear in court on January 31 for committal mention.

Last night a court heard Mr Ors was shot repeatedly in the legs and buttocks.

Investigators are also probing a link between the shooting and another last week which left bikie affiliated enforcer Nabil Maghnie fighting for life.

Maghnie was a suspect in the 2011 shooting of Toby Mitchell and an associate of newly recruited Comanchero Gavin Preston, who was also a suspect in that attack.

A source with knowledge of the growing dispute between rival Middle Eastern gangs in Melbourne’s northern suburbs told the Herald Sun: “There is going to be a link there between the shooting of Nabil last week. He only got out of hospital on Sunday,.

“It’s going to be a very interesting time in that area.”

The Herald Sun understands Mr Ors, who was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he died, had not had any major interaction with the criminal justice system.

However many of his associates are well known to police.

Mr Ors was friends with a highly-connected underworld prisoner who is on major drug charges. The man, who cannot be named, escaped an attempt on his life in Altona in which another man was shot dead.

Mr Ors’ friends online mourned the young victim.

“You’re (sic) life is made of two dates and a dash, make the most of the dash,’’ one wrote.

Another said: “RIP dear Kadir”.

Stunned shoppers watched in horror as Mr Ors was gunned down.

The shooter fled in what was believed to be a red Holden Commodore.

Marrogi, of Greenvale, was this year involved in two high-speed crashes within months.

The first in April involved a BMW X5 which left a trail of destruction when it crashed into units at Roxburgh Park.

A witness told the Herald Sun at the time of the attack, that shoppers watched in horror as the man was shot.

“Everyone saw it,’’ she said.

“They said it sounded like fire crackers going off.

“But it was actually the multiple shots from the gun.

“He dropped to the ground pretty much right near the front door of Officeworks.”

A woman leaving a nearby chemist with her child was among those who saw the shooting.

“She walked out and she saw a guy holding a gun out in front of him,’’ the witness said.

“It’s scary.”

The Herald Sun has been told a red sports car sped away from the scene shortly after the shooting, with a white Jeep in apparent pursuit.

The Jeep — believed to be driven by a friend of the shooting victim — then returned.

Another witness said the Jeep’s driver was involved in an altercation with police as he desperately tried to check if his friend, believed to be aged in his 20s, was okay.

“He was pretty much to the point where his brakes were smoking when he pulled up to get back to his mate,’’ the witness said.

“There was actually a physical confrontation between that friend and a police officer trying to keep him back.”

“There was a massive, massive response from VicPol,’’ the witness said.

“There was six or seven vehicles that attended in very quick succession.

Forensic investigators, detectives and SES worked into the night at a cordoned-off area outside Campbellfield Plaza after Mr Ors was shot.

Armed crime taskforce detective Acting Sergeant Glenn Holland said the victim was hit by two rounds.

“We also have a secondary crime scene where another two vehicles were seen, with firearms being let off in the air.”

That happened “towards Dallas”, he said.

Anyone who saw what happened should contact Crime Stoppers via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppersvic.com.au.

– Andrew Jefferson, David Hurley, Wes Hosking, Kathryn Powley & Anthony Dowsley

Posted in Execution-Style Murders, Gangs, Homicide, Motor Vehicle Theft, Murder, Shootings, Violent Crime, Weapon and Firearm Possession | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brainless Jack-Off Teenager Threatens To Kill Couple With Fake Gun In Craigieburn

October 15th, 2016

A 16-year-old who allegedly threatened to kill a couple while holding a fake gun in Melbourne’s north on Friday has been charged and is due to face a Children’s Court.

The Fawkner Embona Taskforce, which was set-up eight years ago to tackle robberies in the western suburbs, has charged a teenager after executing a search warrant at a property in Hyde Park Avenue, Craigieburn, on Saturday.

A police spokeswoman said the search warrant followed an incident in Sheffield Way, Craigieburn, on Friday night.

She said detectives have been told a man and a woman were sitting in their car while parked in Sheffield Way about 6.15pm when a teenage boy allegedly armed with a firearm threatened them.

Police arrested a teenage boy early on Saturday morning and seized two imitation firearms from the Hyde Park address.

A Craigieburn teen, 16, has been charged with making threats to kill, being a prohibited person in possession of an imitation firearm and unlicensed driving.

He has been bailed to appear at a Children’s Court at a later date.

– Alexandra Laskie

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Stabbing At Noble Park Grand Final Party

October 13th, 2016

A party guest was stabbed in the chest, stomach and leg in an unprovoked attack outside a Grand Final weekend gathering in Melbourne’s southeast.

The victim, 24 from Berwick, fell to the ground while he and his friend were trying to run away from the attackers after being threatened on a Noble Park street.

The offenders surrounded the man and began assaulting him before one of them repeatedly stabbed the man.

A number of people tried to shield the bleeding man to stop the attack, and the offenders ran down Mons Parade before fleeing in a Holden Commodore.

The victim was taken to Dandenong Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Greater Dandenong Crime Investigation Unit detectives have released CCTV footage as they continue their probe into the attack which occurred on Saturday 1 October.

A CCTV still of two men police are trying to identify. Picture: Victoria Police

The two offenders are described as being African in appearance and aged in their early 20s.

Victoria Police spokeswoman Amelia Penhall said investigators were told the victim and four of his friends arrived at a party on Ian Street 4am.

“The victim and one friend then walked to another car on Robert St a short distance from the party,” Ms Penhall said.
“While at the car, the victim has seen a dark-coloured Holden Commodore sedan, possibly an early 2000s model, drive up and park next to them.

“They have then walked back towards the party on Ian St.


One of the men police want to speak to. Picture: Victoria Police

“As they were walking along Mons Parade the pair heard a person yelling from behind them.

“They have turned and saw the driver and front passenger from the Holden Commodore.”

One man was armed with a knife and the two offenders threatened the victim and his friend.

“They tried to reason with the offenders before they began running back towards the party,” Ms Penhall said.

“The victim tripped and fell and the two offenders assaulted him.”

Police are keen to speak to potential witnesses, particularly two men who had a conversation with the driver of the Holden Commodore shortly after the stabbing.

They would also like to speak to the occupants of a light-coloured SUV who drove along Ian St at the time of the incident.

Police have released images and CCTV of men they believe may be able to assist with their inquiries, as well as two vehicles they are trying to identify.

Anyone with information or who witnessed the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

– Andrea Hamblin

Posted in Gangs, Serious Assault & Recklessly Causing Serious Injury, Stabbing, Violent Crime, Weapon and Firearm Possession | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Witnesses Won’t Talk About Unprovoked Noble Park Stabbing

October 13th, 2016

Frustrated detectives say dozens of witnesses are staying silent over a stabbing that nearly claimed a young man’s life in Melbourne’s south-east.

The 24-year-old man was nearly killed after being set upon outside the venue of a 22nd birthday party in Noble Park.

Police are appealing for witnesses of a stabbing attack in Noble Park on Grand Final morning. Picture: 7 News

It was about 4am on the AFL Grand Final morning when the victim and a friend arrived, but the party was already over.

The pair were returning to their car to leave when two men confronted the pair, made threats and chased them back to the party venue, police say.

While fleeing, the victim tripped on the edge of the gutter and fell to the ground outside the venue, where a group of people gathered.

He was stabbed 11 times to the abdomen, chest, stomach and leg, in what police believe was an unprovoked attack.

CCTV shows a number of people running down the street at the time of the attack, and some who stepped between the victim and the offender.

After lashing out in public, the men managed to slink away from the serious consequences.

Vehicles can also be seen driving past while the victim was being stabbed, kicked and punched, including a light coloured SUV.

The attack was unprovoked, and the victim was not believed to be armed, according to Detective Senior Constable Kimberley Alp.

Police know that a knife was used but are yet to recover the weapon.

The victim suffered life-threatening wounds when he arrived in the hospital, including a punctured lung, and arterial damage to his leg, but surgeons were able to stem the bleeding.

He has been released from hospital but has not yet returned to work.

“His stomach you could describe looks like a bit of a zipper going up the middle because of the number of staples required to fix the primary wound,” Detective Alp said.

Police estimate up to 30 people were in the area at the time of the stabbing, with a number of witnesses coming to the aid of the victim.

Witnesses have been urged to come forward with more information to assist with the investigation.

Detective senior constable Kimberley Alp said the victim was very lucky to be alive. Picture: 7 News

Detective senior constable Kimberley Alp said there were no shortage of potential witnesses to the attack.

“We’re appealing to the wider South Sudanese community. It was a surprise birthday for a 22-year-old and there were multiple persons of African appearance who were there on the night.

“We really do ask them to consider what the victim’s been through and how serious this was and potentially could have been,” Detective Alp said.

“Only a small number of people have spoken to police. We believe a large number know what happened.”

Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

– Cameron Baud

Posted in Serious Assault & Recklessly Causing Serious Injury, Stabbing, Violent Crime, Weapon and Firearm Possession | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Victoria Police Want To Fly To The Vatican To Interview Cardinal George Pell Over Numerous Child Abuse Allegations

February 20th, 2016

Police want to fly to Vatican City to interview Cardinal George Pell who allegedly sexually abused up to 10 minors between 1978 and 2001, it has been reported.

According to the Herald Sun the detectives involved in the Sano investigation want to fly to the Catholic state to interview the Cardinal, but need to wait for senior figures ‘give them the go-ahead’.

Ballarat Survivors Group and Care Leavers Australasis Network are also calling for police to take their allegations to Pell.

Cardinal George Pell is being investigated over claims that he sexually abused and groomed minors, it has been reported
Cardinal George Pell is being investigated over claims that he sexually abused and groomed minors, it has been reported

Pell has said he will ‘co-operate’ with police if they decide to question him.

The Herald Sun have reported the alleged abuse spanned over 23 years, and occurred both in Ballarat where he was a priest, and in Melbourne where he worked as the archbishop.

Detectives have been working with the alleged victims for over a year – it has been reported they are aged between their late 20s and early 50s.

An earlier explosive Herald Sun report claimed Victoria Police is probing allegations about ‘multiple offences’ committed by the now 74-year-old.

But Cardinal Pell has vehemently denied the allegations, saying they are ‘without foundation and utterly false’, according to a spokesman.

The report said a taskforce is investigating claims that Cardinal Pell sexually abused minors by ‘both grooming and opportunity’.

Detectives have reportedly been working on the investigation, which has involved interviewing ‘numerous’ alleged victims, over the past year.

Victoria Police told Daily Mail Australia they are aware of the report but ‘cannot comment on any cases in which an individual has been named’.

Cardinal Pell is due to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in just over one week.

He is currently in Rome and claims he is too ill to fly to front the commission, but will testify via video-link from Rome. 

A spokesman for the Cardinal said that he ‘strongly denies’ any wrongdoing.

His office said police have not raised the allegations with Cardinal Pell and that he has never been interviewed over child sexual abuse claims.

But Cardinal Pell said that if police wish to question him he will co-operate with any inquiry.

‘The allegations are without foundation and utterly false,’ his office said.

A taskforce is investigating claims that Cardinal Pell (pictured at the Vatican) sexually abused minors by 'both grooming and opportunity'
A taskforce is investigating claims that Cardinal Pell (pictured at the Vatican) sexually abused minors by ‘both grooming and opportunity’
Cardinal Pelli s due to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in just over one week

Cardinal Pelli s due to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in just over one week

‘He strongly denies any wrongdoing. If the police wish to question him he will co-operate, as he has with each and every public inquiry.

‘The Cardinal is certain that the police will quickly reach the conclusion that the allegations are false.’

His office said that previous ‘false’ allegations from a church camp at Victoria’s Phillip Island, investigated by Justice Southwell, have been ignored by the police for over 15 years.

‘The Phillip Island allegations have been on the public record for nearly 15 years. The Southwell Report which exonerated Cardinal Pell has been in the public domain since 2002.’

The spokesman said the leak was timed to cause ‘maximum damage’ to the Cardinal and the Catholic Church and undermine the work of the Royal Commission.

The Cardinal has called for a public inquiry into the leaking of the ‘spurious claims’, his spokesman said.

‘Given the serious nature of this conduct, the Cardinal has called for a public inquiry to be conducted in relation to the actions of those elements of the Victorian Police who are undermining the Royal Commission’s work,’ a spokesman said.

‘The Cardinal calls on the Premier and the Police Minister to immediately investigate the leaking of these baseless allegations.’

Cardinal Pell is currently in Rome and claims he is too ill to fly to front the commission, but will testify via video-link from Rome

Cardinal Pell is currently in Rome and claims he is too ill to fly to front the commission, but will testify via video-link from Rome

STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF CARDINAL GEORGE PELL

Cardinal Pell is due to give evidence to the Royal Commission in just over one week.

The timing of these leaks is clearly designed to do maximum damage to the Cardinal and the Catholic Church and undermines the work of the Royal Commission.

The allegations are without foundation and utterly false.

It is outrageous that these allegations have been brought to the Cardinal’s attention through a media leak. These undetailed allegations have not been raised with the Cardinal by the police and the false claims investigated by Justice Southwell have been ignored by the police for over 15 years, despite the very transparent way they were dealt with by the Cardinal and the Catholic Church.

The Cardinal has called for a public inquiry into the leaking of these spurious claims by elements in the Victorian Police in a manner clearly designed to embarrass the Cardinal, in a case study where the historical failures of the Victorian Police have been the subject of substantial evidence. These types of unfair attacks diminish the work of those good officers of the police who are diligently working to bring justice to victims.

Cardinal Pell has vehemently denied the allegations, saying they are 'without foundation and utterly false', according to a spokesman

Cardinal Pell has vehemently denied the allegations, saying they are ‘without foundation and utterly false’, according to a spokesman

The Phillip Island allegations have been on the public record for nearly 15 years. The Southwell Report which exonerated Cardinal Pell has been in the public domain since 2002.

The Victorian police have taken no steps in all of that time to pursue the false allegations made, however the Cardinal certainly has no objection to them reviewing the materials that led Justice Southwell to exonerate him. The Cardinal is certain that the police will quickly reach the conclusion that the allegations are false.

The Victorian Police have never sought to interview him in relation to any allegations of child sexual abuse and apart from the false allegations investigated by Justice Southwell, the Cardinal knows of no claims or incidents which relate to him.

He strongly denies any wrongdoing. If the police wish to question him he will co-operate, as he has with each and every public inquiry.

In the meantime, the Cardinal understands that several media outlets have received confidential information leaked by someone within the Victorian Police. For elements of the police to publicly attack a witness in the same case study that has exposed serious police inaction and wrongdoing is outrageous and should be seen for what it is.

Given the serious nature of this conduct, the Cardinal has called for a public inquiry to be conducted in relation to the actions of those elements of the Victorian Police who are undermining the Royal Commission’s work. .

The Cardinal calls on the Premier and the Police Minister to immediately investigate the leaking of these baseless allegations.

– Belinda Cleary & Jennifer Awford

Posted in Child Pornography and Abuse, Indecent Assault / Exposure, Molestation, Rape and Sexual Assault, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Killer Of Sydney Underworld Figure Walid ‘Wally’ Ahmad Crosses The Border Into Victoria

April 30th, 2016

The search for the shooter who gunned down convicted killer Walid ‘Wally’ Ahmad and injured two bystanders has spread to another state.

Police investigating Friday’s shooting in Bankstown, Sydney, have shifted focus to an abandoned vehicle found on the Hume Highway.

NSW Police confirmed on Saturday they had been contacted by Victoria police after a single-vehicle crash in Benalla, and were investigating if it was linked to the shooting, carried out by a masked gunman, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The car had been crashed into trees off the Hume Freeway near Baddaginnie overnight but when police arrived it was empty.

Police are still trying to confirm who was driving the vehicle when it crashed.

Images of an abandoned vehicle in Victoria has led police investigators over the border from New South Wales to search for Ahmad's shooter. The incident is said to have been a targeted attack

The car had crashed into trees just off the Hume Freeway near Baddaginnie and was empty when police arrived at the scene

Ahmad, a convicted killer, was gunned down in the busy Bankstown shopping centre just after 12pm on Friday. It is believed the attack was in relation to the fatal shooting of Safwan Charbaji earlier this month

A man gunned down in a busy shopping centre in a ‘targeted’ attack is believed to be convicted killer and standover man Walid ‘Wally’ Ahmad

Shocking footage emerged of the moment paramedics tried to resuscitate Ahmad. Family members can be heard screaming: 'Walid, Walid! Don't die on me Walid!'

Shocking footage has emerged of the moment paramedics tried to resuscitate gangland figure Walid Ahmad after he was gunned down in a ‘targeted attack’ outside a shopping centre

Ahmad, 41, was shot dead in a ‘well-planned ambush’ on the rooftop carpark at Bankstown Central shopping centre in an attack which left his bodyguard and a 31-year-old woman reported by Yahoo7 to be his girlfriend, with injuries.

After the attack, shocking footage emerged of the moment paramedics tried to resuscitate the convicted killer after he was gunned down in the ‘targeted attack’ outside a shopping centre.

Distressing images show Ahmad, who went into cardiac arrest immediately after he was shot, lying on the ground covered in blood while a man performs CPR on his chest.

His family and friends can be heard screaming ‘Walid, Walid! Don’t die on me Walid!’

Police have voiced fears that a war between rival Sydney crime gangs, thought to have stemmed from a drugs debt, could escalate following the death of the convicted killer
Police have voiced fears that a war between rival Sydney crime gangs, thought to have stemmed from a drugs debt, could escalate following the death of the convicted killer on Friday
Distressing images show Ahmad, who went into cardiac arrest immediately after he was shot, lying on the ground covered in blood

Distressing images show Ahmad, who went into cardiac arrest immediately after he was shot, lying on the ground covered in blood

Police will be knocking on the doors of well-known gang members this weekend to find the person or persons responsible for killing well-known gangland figure Walid ‘Wally’ Ahmad.

Police don’t want the shooting to further fuel a drug-related gang war and have told gang associates not to take the law into their own hands, Newscorp reports.

It has also been reported a senior police officer from the Middle Eastern Crime Squad has said people would ‘be lining up to kill him’.

‘In the past few months he has been spiralling out of control and bingeing on cocaine,’ the Daily Telegraph reported.

Ahmad, a known standover man, was wanted by police for questioning the fatal shooting of Safwan Charbaji at his smash repairs business earlier this month in Condell Park.

It’s feared Friday’s shooting could be ‘payback’ for the killing, and police are investigating if indeed it is.

 Ahmad is a central figure among Sydney's middle eastern crime gangs and his death has sparked serious concerns about an emerging gang war
Ahmad, a central figure among Sydney’s middle eastern crime gangs, was shot dead in a ‘well-planned ambush’ at Bankstown Central shopping centre, west of the city, on Friday

Ahmad was jailed in 2005 after shooting dead Mayez Danny at Greenacre in Sydney's south-west in 2002 
Ahmad was jailed in 2005 after shooting dead Mayez Danny at Greenacre in Sydney’s south-west in 2002 

‘There are two distinct crime groups now involved in a feud and they are extremely violent,’ a sebuir police officer told the Telegraph.

It has also been reported a large drug debt was at the centre of the long-running dispute between the two crime gangs.

‘Somebody didn’t pay protection for their coke run,’ a source told News.com.au. ‘Somebody owes 100 grand and that’s what this is all about.’

‘It’s clearly targeted, this is not a random shooting,’ Detective Superintendent David Eardley said.

‘Certainly there’s been a recent shooting in Condell Park. Those detectives will be reviewing this today.

‘Obviously that will be the subject of an investigation to identify any linkages to the deceased man.

‘We’re certainly not ruling out any links – we’re looking at all opportunists and all avenues of investigation.’

He said police believe the gunman may not have been working alone and that the victim was an intended target.

‘The indication is that this gunman did not act alone – we had information of a white Mercedes vehicle being used,’ he said. ‘I can confirm that vehicle has been located burnt-out in the Greenacre area.’

Police have recovered a car believed to have been used after the deadly shooting at Bankstown on Friday
Police have recovered a car believed to have been used after the deadly shooting at Bankstown on Friday

The gunman is believed to have escaped in a Mercedes, which was found burned out less than 1km away
The gunman is believed to have escaped in a Mercedes, which was found burned out less than 1km away

Police released CCTV footage showing the suspected getaway car used (driving along the road)

Police have released CCTV footage showing the suspected getaway car used (driving along the road)

Police said a torched Mercedes used in the shooting was found in a street just one kilometre from the shopping centre

Police said a torched Mercedes used in the shooting was found in a street just one kilometre from the shopping centre

Police have released CCTV footage showing the suspected getaway car used after Ahmad was shot dead.

The video shows a white Mercedes driving down a nearby street followed by a white hatchback, shortly before both cars were found burnt-out in Greenacre.

Police believe the Mercedes was driven into a car park at the Bankstown Central Shopping Centre about 11.50am.

A gunman then exited the car, and opened fire on three people sitting at a table at a café.

A woman and a 60-year-old man suffered non life-threatening gun wounds to their legs in the attack and they are now recovering in hospital.

The man, named as Nael Hamid, is thought to be Ahmad’s bodyguard and he made light of the situation by telling Seven News his injuries were due to ‘fireworks’.

Moments before the attack, a man and a woman reportedly ran into the shopping centre asking about store security.

‘Where’s store security? Where’s store security? Can you call them?’ the woman said, according to news.com.au.

But the man said: ‘There’s not enough f***ing time.’

The pair then ran towards an escalator, which leads to the third-level gym, cafe and carpark, where the shooting occurred.

It is not known who the people were or if they were hurt in the shooting.

A woman, 32,  who was injured during the execution of notorious criminal Walid 'Wally' Ahmad in Sydney's south-west is believed to have been an innocent bystander in the deadly attack. Sh

A woman is taken away by NSW Paramedics after she was shot in the leg in the car park at Bankstown Central shopping centre in Sydney’s south-west just before 12pm on Friday

A 51-year-old man, believed to be Nael Hamid, an associate of Ahmad was treated by paramedics at the scene for gunshot wounds to his leg before being taken to hospital similar to the 32-year-old woman

A man was treated by paramedics at the scene for gunshot wounds to his leg before being taken to hospital

Witnesses say eight shots were fired at the busy shopping centre on Friday.

‘As I was parking my car, I heard gun shots. I went upstairs and there were three on the floor, two guys and a girl,’ a witness told 9News.

‘There was a guy lying in a pool of blood. They were trying to revive him, but he [had] passed away already.

‘I was in the war zone in Lebanon, but it wasn’t as scary as what I just saw.’

Fatema Islam, who works at the nearby Bankstown Hospital, says she had just parked her car when she heard two gunshots and a woman screaming.

‘I thought something probably fell from the fitness (shop) and I tried not to pay attention,’ Ms Islam told reporters at the shopping centre.

‘A lady came out from over there, screaming and crying, saying, ”Gunshots, gunshots”. I was like, ”That can’t be true”.

‘I’m sorry, I’m still scared myself. It’s pretty scary, especially for local people like us. It’s not a very fun place to be.’

Ms Islam said she was used to treating gunshot victims, but not like this.

‘We deal with this all the time, but it’s different when patients come to us with gunshot wounds,’ she said. ‘It’s different when you actually see it on the spot – it’s pretty scary.’

Ahmad’s niece told news.com.au how she received a panicked call from Ahmad’s daughter.

‘She said, ‘Come get me! He’s dead! He’s dead!’ the niece said.

Nael Hamid (pictured) is thought to be Ahmad's bouncer and made light of the situation by saying his injuries were due to 'fireworks'
The wounded man, named as Nael Hamid, is thought to be Ahmad’s bouncer and made light of the situation by telling 7 News his injuries were due to ‘fireworks’

Ahmad was on the run after the fatal shooting of Safwan Charbaji outside the A Team Smash Repairs on April 9, according to The Daily Telegraph.

He was at the shop when the shots were fired and police wanted to question him in the days after the incident.

The 41-year-old, who is believed to be married with children, was also reportedly being investigated over his role in an extortion racket.

He was also jailed in 2005 after shooting dead Mayez Danny at Greenacre in Sydney’s south-west in 2002.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that he was well known for intimidation and stand over tactics, particularly in the automotive industry.

Anyone with information that could assist police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Ahmad was wanted for questioning over the fatal shooting of Safwan Charbaji (pictured) outside the A Team Smash Repairs in Condell Park on April 9
Ahmad was wanted for questioning over the fatal shooting of Safwan Charbaji (pictured) outside the A Team Smash Repairs in Condell Park on April 9

Police surrounded a man at the shopping centre but say no arrests have been made in relation to the shooting

Police surround a man at the shopping centre but say no arrests have been made in relation to the shooting

There is believed to have been eight shots fired in the car park of the shopping centre on the corner of Stacey Street and Rickard Street

There is believed to have been eight shots fired in the car park of the shopping centre on the corner of Stacey Street and Rickard Street

– Leith Huffadine, Belinda Cleary & Jenny Awford

Posted in Armed Offences, Drug Trafficking, Manufacturing and Dealing, Execution-Style Murders, Extortion and Blackmail, Gangs, Homicide, Humour, Manhunts, Murder, Non-Fatal Shootings, Organised Crime, Shootings, Standover, Violent Crime | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Andrew William Lee Charged With Murder Over Coward-Punch Death

April 19th, 2016

The man charged with the murder of Melbourne teenager Patrick Cronin “declined to comment” in an interview to police after his arrest.

Diamond Creek man Andrew William Lee, 33, briefly faced an out-of-sessions court hearing at the West Melbourne Police Station on Tuesday night charged with the 19-year-old’s murder.

Detective Senior Constable John Midson told the hearing Mr Cronin was “acting as a mediator” but suffered fatal head injuries during the course of the brawl.

Victim: Patrick Cronin.

Victim: Patrick Cronin.

 

A 33-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Melbourne teenager Patrick Cronin, who was struck in the back of the head at a pub brawl on Saturday in the city’s northern suburbs.

Victoria Police said that a Diamond Creek man had been charged with one count of murder after the 19-year old Mr Cronin died in hospital on Monday due to a critical head injury suffered at the weekend.

The man is due to appear in an out of court’s session hearing tonight and is expected to be remanded.

The charge followed an earlier announcement by police that they had found and arrested the man they had been looking for in relation to the killing.

Police on Monday released CCTV images of a man it sought to identify after the 19-year-old Cronin died in hospital from a critical head injury.

Mr Cronin’s life support was switched off in the afternoon after a traumatic day for his family when the police released a statement at 8.30am wrongly saying he was dead.

The police retracted the statement 1½ hours later.

The man in custody is believed to have turned himself in.

Police released images of the man on Monday, saying he had a tattoo on his right bicep and upper arm.

Police said the man sought was caucasian, with a solid build, dark hair and wearing a light-coloured T-shirt with blue sleeves and a front pocket. He was wearing dark pants and dark shoes.

Mr Cronin had been on life support after being struck on the back of the head during a brawl involving about 30 people at the Windy Mile pub in Diamond Creek, in the city’s outer northeast.

The fight was between two rival football teams. Mr Cronin was drinking there after playing one of his first senior games for the Lower Plenty Football Club, alongside his brother.

Witnesses said he had bent down to help a fallen friend when he was bludgeoned.

An ambulance reportedly was called but then cancelled by police when Mr Cronin got up and started walking.

He was taken by friends to Royal Melbourne Hospital more than two hours later in a critical condition.

The victim’s devastated family paid tribute on Monday to an “absolute hero and star” and announced his organs had been donated to others in need.

“It is with the heaviest of heaviest of hearts that we have just said goodbye to our beautiful boy Patrick John Cronin,” said a statement signed by “Dad, Mum, Emma and Lucas”.

“We have been overwhelmed with the love our son, and brother, has been shown and it proves to us that he has touched so many people with his wonderful nature.

“As with his whole life he has put others ahead of himself and leaves us an absolute hero and star. We take some comfort in the knowledge that Pat was able to donate his organs and help others in need.

“Our hearts are broken but he will forever be in our hearts and he will be the one to get us through this.

“All our love forever Pat.”

– Greg Brown

Posted in Homicide, Murder, Serious Assault Causing Death, Violent Crime | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment