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.
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 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 on Friday
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.
‘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
The gunman is believed to have escaped in a Mercedes, which was found burned out less than 1km away
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.
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.
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
– Leith Huffadine, Belinda Cleary & Jenny Awford