#AceNewsReport – June.19: Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said paramedics were called to Bridge Street near Circular Quay in response to a drive-by shooting: Police were told a number of shots were fired by a person or persons, more than one person anyway, who was passing in a black vehicle that left the area,” he said:
#AceDailyNews reported that a man was shot and killed in Sydney’s CBD this is an NSW UPDATE of who was killed from ABC News ……..Underworld crime boss Bilal Hamze Mr Hamze, 34, was the cousin of notorious Brothers 4 Life gang leader and murderer Bassam Hamzy, who is locked up in Goulburn Supermax Jail.
Three months after NSW Police revamped its anti-bikie Raptor squad, public place shootings in Sydney have plummeted.
“Detectives are conducting an extensive canvass of the area, and that is involving not only talking to any witnesses or potential witnesses but also looking for CCTV, anyone with mobile phone footage or dashcam footage.
“This was a brutal, execution style murder and it was carried out in a busy street in the middle of Sydney CBD.
Detective Superintendent Doherty said it was “extremely fortunate” that members of the public weren’t injured.
“Detectives will now explore a number of inquiries, including ongoing conflict between rival families and organised crime networks,” he said.
“It is an escalation. We’re lucky that we haven’t got more casualties. We are lucky that there is no-one else injured.”
Forensic and ballistic examinations of the scene are continuing.
A second crime scene has been established in the Lane Cove area, where a burnt-out vehicle was found shortly after the shooting.
Homicide squad detectives will investigate, alongside the criminal group squad, Strike Force Raptor and Central region police.
Detective Superintendent Doherty said police believe Mr Hamze had left a nearby establishment and as he walked onto Bridge Street he was “shot down in a hail of bullets”.
“It’s a major line of inquiry, a strong line of inquiry that there is a conflict between families and criminal networks, however, we’ve also got to keep an open mind that there may be some other motives and other people linked to this.”
Asked about a contract for killing Mr Hamze, Detective Superintendent Robert Critchlow said police had spoken to Mr Hamze on a number of occasions over the course of the year.
“He’s been warned that he’s at risk, he’s been given advice as to his safety,” he said.
“That advice was not received in the sense it was given, he sought to live his life the way he wanted to do and he’s made some choices.”
He also said police were investigating any link to this shooting to the fallout of the recent Operation Ironside, a recent widescale bust of alleged drug crime across the country.
Detective Superintendent Critchlow said “several arrests” will flow from this.
‘Is that a gun?’: Witness
A witness said she was in bed reading when she heard the shots, followed by an eerie silence.
“All of a sudden I heard several shots go off three, four or five and I was like, ‘Is that a gun?’,” the US citizen said.
“I didn’t hear any cars or anything for at least a minute or two and I thought that I should go outside and look … then I heard sirens, probably a few minutes later.”Police and forensic teams continued to comb the scene of the fatal shooting.(AAP: Dean Lewins)
The woman said being from America, where firearms were much more common, she was shocked it was a shooting.
“I didn’t think it was [guns] because I’m in Australia … that’s wild, knowing that I live just a walk from here.”
NSW Police said a short time later, a burnt-out vehicle was discovered at Fleming Street in Northwood, on Sydney’s north shore, where officers had established a second crime scene.
Forensic teams are still at the scene at Bridge Street, with officers examining bullet holes on the side of the building.
A black jacket was seen being placed into an evidence bag.
Detectives are concerned about possible reprisal attacks because of the high-profile nature of the shooting.
Mr Hamze is the son of Maha Hamze, the family’s matriarch, who was shot and seriously injured outside her Auburn home in 2013.
That same townhouse was targeted in October when another cousin, Mejid Hamzy, was shot dead outside his Condell Park home.The police squad targeting public shootings
Maha Hamze’s property was again shot at in February, resulting in a stray bullet piercing the window of Auburn Hospital and coming within inches of a nurse.
Days later, NSW Police expanded the state’s anti-bikie squad, Strike Force Raptor , amid a gangland war between the Hamzy and Alameddine families.
The ABC does not suggest the Alameddine family was behind any of the shootings targeting the Hamzy family.
Investigators spent the night swarming Bridge Street for CCTV and will be speaking with witnesses throughout the day.
It’s unclear why Bilal Hamze was targeted, but sources believe it may be drug-related.
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