Thursday September 5 2013
– A fugitive parolee with a long history of gun crime was last night on the run in Melbourne with a mother and her two children.
Gun-loving Simon Hancock, who once shot a pregnant woman in the stomach at a wedding, has been described by police as armed and dangerous. Investigators believe he is travelling with girlfriend Kimberley Perry and her two primary school-aged children.
Hancock, 35, has been at large since he shot up a Lilydale home on three separate occasions during Sunday night and Monday morning. The second two attacks came despite police being called to the earlier shooting.
Detective Inspector Ian Campbell of the Victoria Police Fugitive Squad said it was believed Hancock was still armed and may be in the Yarra Ranges area. He said Hancock should not be approached by members of the public who should, instead, call 000 or Crime Stoppers.
“He is armed yes, and he is dangerous,” Inspector Campbell said.
Despite Hancock being armed, Inspector Campbell said police were not “overly concerned” about Ms Perry and the children. “They have not been attending their local primary school,” Inspector Campbell said.
“We’ve got some concerns that their current state of mind is potentially unstable, but we don’t believe any harm will be undertaken to the children.”
Inspector Campbell said Hancock and Ms Perry, 29, had made no contact wi anyone since Monday.
Hancock is on parole over his September, 2007, shooting of a 16-weeks pregnant woman at his sister’s wedding celebrations.
He had taken a sawn-off .22 calibre rifle to the nuptials in a back pack, before transferring them to the front of his trousers.
Hancock’s victim was lucky not to lose her child when the bullet pierced her womb as she visited a toilet.
Officers from the Special Operations Group arrested him in a mobile interception at Deer Park, in Melbourne’s west, three days later.
On the night before the wedding, while playing cards at the buck’s night, Hancock had produced a gun after a row with one of his opponents. That followed an incident in which he opened fire in front of others as they drank beside the Yarra.
At the time he shot the pregnant woman, Hancock was on bail for firearms offences committed earlier that year.
“He likes his guns and he likes using them,” one police source said.
Hancock is missing part of his leg after it was amputated when he accidentally shot himself in 1998.
He originally claimed he was shot while looking for marijuana, and was later found guilty of making a false report to police.
Hancock bears Nazi tattoos and, at the time of his 2007 arrest, had Nazi posters in his bedroom.
He was once described by police as loathing anyone who was non-white.
During last Sunday night’s first incident, Hancock allegedly opened fire at the Beresford Road home’s doorway after an argument with a 29-year-old resident, who was forced to take evasive action.
The gunman left in a blue Mitsubishi sedan but, after police had attended, more shots were fired at the property. Officers returned and again left, after which another shot was fired at the house.
“The victim of that shooting is well known to both Simon and Kimberley. That has led us to believe, quite strongly, Simon is responsible for the actual shooting,” Inspector Campbell said.
Police have described the matter as a “domestic dispute”, refusing to comment on suggestions the alleged white supremacist’s motives were racist.
– Mark Buttler & Mustafa Nuristani