By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A customer inside a Hampton Park tattoo parlour is believed to the victim of a targeted shooting involving two armed men wearing balaclavas on 22 February.
The victim, a 35 year old man, was rushed to The Alfred hospital after being shot multiple times to various parts of his body in front of five other staff and customers about 1.20pm, Inspector Mick Daly of Victoria Police said.
He is in a serious, stable condition, Insp Daly said.
Shortly before the shooting, the two armed men got out of a silver sedan and entered the Nitro Ink premises at the Fordholm Street shopping centre.
A torched silver sedan found in Robjant Street that afternoon was viewed as a “potential getaway vehicle”, Insp Daly said.
Inspector Daly said it was particularly “alarming” that “stray bullets” flew into a neighbouring premises at the busy shopping precinct. No other people were injured, he said.
“It’s very alarming given the time of the day, (that there were) other shops there and other people present.”
He confirmed the anti-outlaw bike gang Echo Taskforce was co-investigating the incident. But police had an “open mind” as to the motive.
Police were still investigating the type of firearm used in the shooting.
A row of eight shops were cordoned off as part of the crime scene, with a number of staff and customers lingering within the police tape for several hours.
Visibly upset Nitro Ink staff consoled each other in front of the shops. They declined to comment.
A man who was at the nearby Heroes cafe said he did not hear the gunshots. He was taken aback by the rapid response of paramedics and swarms of police cars.
Noting the discovery of a possible incinerated getaway car nearby, he said: “This was a proper hit”.
“Everyone is friendly. We all know each other here, but in saying that, there was a shooting a couple of months ago at (Hampton Park Tavern).”
A neighbour across the road from the shops didn’t hear the firing of shots but just “police cars flying by”.
“Strange things happen in Hampton Park.”
Insp Daly urged members of the public who saw suspicious people before and after the shooting or could elaborate on the motive to contact Crime Stoppers.
Any information to 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppersvic.com.au