Police believe shooting may spark bikie-war
Tattoo studio believed Hells Angels linked
Bandidos recently defected to Hells Angels
A FATAL shooting at a gang-linked tattoo parlour may spark a full-scale war between feuding Hells Angels and Bandidos bikies, police believe.
A 40-year-old tattooist died in hospital yesterday after being shot in the shoulder by two masked men who stormed the Pretty In Ink Tattoo Studio in West Ryde, northwest of Sydney on Saturday night, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Tensions between the gangs exploded last month when 55 Bandidos, including the whole Parramatta chapter, defected to the Hells Angels, making them the state's third largest club.
The studio where the latest shooting took place is believed to be linked to the Hells Angels.
It is understood a staff member was in the rear of the business when two men armed with a gun forced their way in at 9.30pm.
Witnesses said there was an altercation between the gunmen and several staff members before one of the masked bandits fired a shot at the victim from close range, hitting him in the shoulder. Other staff members and customers escaped uninjured.
Paramedics treated the victim at the scene before rushing him to Royal North Shore Hospital.
Police believe the shooting was linked to an attack on another Hells Angels-linked parlour, Tattoo World at Baulkham Hills, early on Friday.
"It is difficult to say ... if it is the same two people involved in each incident, but it's something significant we will look at," police said.
The news comes as West Australian police voice their own fears of the Bandidos launching a foray into the state.
Police sources this week told The Sunday Times there was a real possibility the Bandidos could infiltrate the state, given their close ties to fledgling gang the Rock Machine.
Detectives are intently monitoring interaction between the two gangs.