Police say feuding Middle Eastern organised crime groups could be behind a string of shootings in Melbourne’s northern suburbs that sent a man to hospital with serious leg injuries and wounded another.
In recent weeks Thomastown and Coolaroo have been rocked by three separate shootings, which investigators believe are targeted attacks between groups.
Ibrahim El-Sayah was shot in the leg in Coolaroo on February 10.
Emergency services were called to a home on Barry Road in Thomastown, 16 kilometres north of the CBD, about 1am on January 24 after neighbours reported hearing gunshots coming from the property.
Police believe the shooting was the second time the property had been targeted in about 24 hours, after gunmen sprayed the home with bullets the day before. A 40-year-old was shot in the arm in the January 23 attack, which was not reported to police.
And on February 10, 27-year-old Ibrahim “Ibby” Elsayah was shot in the leg during a dispute at a property in Coolaroo, west of Thomastown.
Elsayah declined to comment, but a source close to the family told The Age he was driven to Northern Hospital in Epping by his assailants, where he underwent surgery on his leg.
He is currently on bail after being charged over a series of drive-by shootings in Melbourne in 2020, though police have not alleged he was responsible for any of the recent round of shootings.
Armed squad detectives swooped on several properties in the northern suburbs on Wednesday morning, arresting a 22-year-old from Craigieburn and seizing a white Holden Commodore from an address in Greenvale.
Police later charged the 22-year-old with engaging in reckless conduct endangering life, possessing a firearm as a prohibited person, possessing cartridge ammunition, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, committing indictable offence while on bail, and two counts of contravening bail conditions. He will appear in court on Thursday afternoon.
Investigators are still looking for a white Toyota Camry that was seen driving away from the scene of the Coolaroo shooting at speed. Police have released security camera footage of the car in the hope someone may be able to identify it.
Police are looking for this white Toyota Camry.Credit:Victoria Police
Detective Inspector Michael Daly from the armed crime squad addressed community concerns and encouraged anyone with information about the whereabouts of the Toyota Camry to come forward.
“I understand that incidents such as this cause significant concern across the broader community, but I will stress that we believe these are targeted incidents,” he said.
“The indiscriminate use of illicit firearms remains a key focus for Victoria Police. We are committed to targeting those involved in this type of offending and holding them to account.”
The investigation is ongoing.
Investigators are hoping to speak with anyone who was near Guildford Avenue, Coolaroo about 11pm on February 10 or may have dashcam footage of the area.
Police are urging anyone with information or footage of any of the incidents to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.
The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.
Most Viewed in National
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article