Police say the investigation into an earlier shooting was sparked by a turf war involving members of the Comancheros motorcycle gang. Photo: Paul Rovere
A senior bikie was shot and left for dead in Melbourne's south-east over what is believed to be an escalating dispute over security business contracts.
High-ranking Comanchero bikie Robert Morando was flown to The Alfred hospital in a critical condition after being ambushed and shot in the torso while on his regular evening walk on Wednesday night.
He was found bleeding profusely near parkland on Berwick Springs Promenade, only a few hundred metres from his Narre Warren South home.
Former kickboxer Clay Auimatagi was wounded in the leg, after three shots were fired outside the Skamma Gym in Vesper Drive. Photo: Melanie Faith Dove
The anti-bikie Echo Taskforce has taken control of the investigation.
Mr Morando, a champion bodybuilder and former owner of security company Ultimate Crowd Control, is on bail charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice after allegedly threatening to "cut open" an associate.
The attack follows the shooting of a former kickboxer and security guard outside a Narre Warren South gym last month.
Former Comancheros president Mick Murray owns the Nitro Gym in Hallam, which was peppered with bullets in a 2013 attack.
Clay Auimatagi was wounded in the leg, after three shots were fired outside the Skamma Gym in Vesper Drive.
At the time, a senior police source said the investigation would look at whether the shooting was sparked by a turf war involving members of the Comancheros motorcycle gang, which have a club house in the neighbouring suburb of Hallam.
Mr Auimatagi had told associates that he knew who was responsible for the shooting, but it is not known if he co-operated with police.
The 44-year-old former kickboxing champion has links with several prominent security businesses and was a former shareholder in Cite Secure Pty Ltd, which was also based in Narre Warren South. He is the owner of Skamma Gym, which specialises in mixed martial arts and self-defence training.
Former Comancheros president Mick Murray owns the Nitro Gym in Hallam, which was peppered with bullets in a 2013 attack that was believed to have been carried out by members of the Hells Angels.
Mr Murray was also the former owner of Nitro Security, which was placed into administration in 2010, but is believed to have continued operating under different corporate names, including Ultimate Crowd Control.
The Echo Taskforce raided properties connected to Mr Morando and Mr Murray after the drive-by shooting in March 2013.
A year later, following further raids, both men were charged.
Mr Morando was charged with allegedly threatening another man to "put his hand up" and take blame for explosives that were found during the police raids in 2013.
He was also charged with threatening to inflict serious injury and possessing steroids, while Mr Murray was charged with possessing six rifles, three handguns and steroids.
Although Mr Murray had promised to stand down as president of the Comancheros and is not permitted to associate with gang members as part of his bail conditions, he continues to wield influence in the gang.
In May, Mr Murray was assaulted by members of the
Rebels motorcycle gang at a Darwin nightclub, which sparked
immediate retribution in Victoria.
Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook