Sydney shootings - fear rules the streets as bikie war hits full blast
April 18, 2012
IT was Sydney's worst night of gun crime in decades.
Five shootings within a few hours - and a machinegun spraying bullets in a suburban street - as a war between rival bikie gangs ramped up to terrifying heights.
Senior police conceded it was a "shocking" few hours, with the first gun fired at a Granville house just after midnight yesterday.
Gunfire continued throughout Sydney's western suburbs four more times before dawn.
Senior police tried to deny a full-blown bikie war was imminent while at the same time admitting a turf war between the Hells Angels and Nomads outlaw motorcycle gang members were behind four of the five shootings. A fifth shooting at Northmead was not bikie linked, instead believed to be the result of business dealings gone bad.
An extra 100 police officers were last night sent to patrol the shooting heartland, largely to head off any retribution attacks by the Hells Angels, who were the target of three of the shootings.
Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione conceded that even if he put an officer on every street corner, it would not stop the shootings.
"This is criminal on criminal," Mr Scipione said.
"There is nothing random about these crimes."
Police confirmed the Granville home shot up just after midnight is owned by relatives of Mahmoud Dib, the former sergeant-at-arms of the Bandidos Parramatta chapter, who last year defected to the Nomads. An occupant of the house heard gunfire and later found bullet holes in the front of the Grimwood St property. He then contacted police.
A short distance away a Merrylands home owned by the elderly parents of accused drug dealer Jeffrey Sahyoun was shot up about 2.40am, with what police believe was a machinegun. Sahyoun, 26, a high-ranking Hells Angels member, was arrested last month and charged with multiple drug and firearms offences. He was refused bail.
Strike Force Kinnarra was set up yesterday to investigate the drive-by shootings at the Sahyoun and Dib homes, and the Merrylands and Baulkham Hills tattoo parlours.
The Merrylands shop, in Pitt St, was peppered with bullets about 4am, while the Seven Hills Rd parlour at Baulkham Hills was hit about 1am. Both tattoo parlours have been shot at before.
"We know who is linked to those businesses and we are targeting them," Assistant Police Commissioner Frank Menelli said.
State Crime Commander, acting Assistant Commissioner Mal Lanyon, said police were still facing a wall of silence in their efforts to investigate the shootings.
He said there was no doubt the "reckless" shootings were all about "conflicting groups sending a message".
"Members of the community have information about these shootings and the people involved," Mr Lanyon said.
"We also know there are members of these groups out there who don't agree with the violence being used. I encourage these people to provide that information to police. That information can be provided anonymously."
At Northmead, two children playing on a computer narrowly avoided a hail of bullets when their Centenary Ave home was hit about 1.15am. Occupant Abdullah Ahmadi, his wife and five children aged between 14 and two were inside at the time.
Although police claim the shooting was linked to bad business dealings through Nomadic Home Loans in which Mr Ahmadi is involved, he denied this.
"We don't have enemies in this country and don't know why this has happened," he said.
"It could be a case of mistaken identity ... there are a couple of Afghans in the area that are involved in gangs and have similar houses."