A new police strike force has been formed after another gang-related shooting in western Sydney in which a Comanchero bicycle boss fought for life and his brother died.
The latest shooting, just two weeks after gangland figure Mahmoud ‘Brownie’ Ahmad was killed on a street in Greenacre, prompted authorities to warn that doors would be kicked in and members of criminal gangs harassed in an attempt to find the killer.
Tarek Zahed, 41, was seriously injured and his brother Omar was killed when they were ambushed and bullet-sprayed on Tuesday evening while standing in the foyer of the Body Fit gym in Auburn.
Omar Zahed, 39, was treated for multiple gunshot wounds to his abdomen, arms and legs and died at the scene.
Tarek Zahed was hit up to 10 times in the body and head. He was taken to Westmead Hospital in critical condition where he underwent surgery.
Deputy Prime Minister Paul Toole said the incident was “shocking” and “disturbing” and that the government was determined to eradicate the city’s criminal underbelly.
“If you are part of the Sydney underworld, if you are involved in criminal activity, we will track you down and eradicate this kind of activity and behavior,” he said.
“We will kick in doors, we will rob houses, we will rob businesses.
“We will harass you, we will disrupt your daily life to eradicate this kind of activity.”
Police Commissioner Karen Webb announced that Strike Force Leary would be formed to investigate and deploy 30 additional officers to Strike Force Raptor – the squad that targets outlaw biker gangs.
“We will target criminals and they need to know who they are and we will come and knock on their door,” she said.
State Crime Command Assistant Commissioner Michael Fitzgerald said police on Thursday urged the brothers to leave the state, but the advice was ignored.
“Their lives are in danger because someone is a senior member of the Comanchero motorcycle group, Australia’s largest criminal organization,” he said.
Homicide Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said the shooting may have been motivated by an internal power struggle.
“With all these shootings and people being killed, there are opportunities for people to try and take their place,” he said.
“There is a real power struggle going on within various criminal networks and that could be one of the lines of inquiry we are looking at.”
Ms Webb said the shooting may have been in retaliation for Ahmad’s murder on April 27.
“Some of these people are in conflict with a number of other groups and it’s hard to tell if it’s direct retaliation or not,” she told Sydney Radio 2GB.
Police found two Audi Q7s on fire in the nearby suburbs of Berala and Greenacre shortly after the attack, and multiple crime scenes were found.
Last week, Deputy Commissioner for Investigations and Counterterrorism, David Hudson, told a parliamentary hearing that 11 gang-related murders had been committed in the past two years due to rivalry in Sydney’s criminal underworld.
As of June 2020, there have been more than 40 major gang-related violent incidents in NSW.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said the Raptor Squad was well equipped, the police would be given additional resources and people should not feel unsafe in their neighbourhoods.
“We have one of the lowest crime rates in recorded history in our state,” he said.
NSW Labor has again called on the Prime Minister to take action against gang violence in western Sydney.
Australian Associated Press