Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has quashed fears Melbourne could be enveloped in escalating gangland warfare after a well-known figure was gunned down at a suburban cafe.
At about 10.20am on Saturday, Gavin “Capable” Preston, 50 was killed outside Sweet Lulus at Keilor in the city’s northwest.
CCTV footage from the moment of the brazen execution showed Preston being sprayed with multiple bullets.
At the time he was dining with another man in his 20s who attempted to run away after he appeared to notice the shooter approaching.
He was shot in the stomach and taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Asked about the potential for an “escalation in a gang war”, Mr Andrews rejected the potential for Preston’s death to inflame organised crime.
“I have no advice to suggest that that’s likely but again, Victoria Police take these matters very seriously and they investigate these matters thoroughly,” he said.
“They work around the clock, while the rest of us are home asleep, they are working 24/7 following up leads and doing the important work they are charged with to catch those responsible.”
According to the Herald Sun, Preston had only been released from jail this year, after serving 11 years for the 2012 shooting of drug dealer Adam Khoury in North Melbourne.
While imprisoned at Barwon Prison, Preston nearly died during a stabbing and suffered multiple wounds to his face.
“They will have woken up today (with a) very, very difficult set of circumstances, and we’ll provide whatever support we can to them,” he said.
Detectives from Victoria Police’s Homicide Squad are searching for more at least two offenders, after it’s believed the shooter fled the scene in a black Audi, which was found on Blair Court.
Investigators believe they then drove away in a black Volkswagen Polo that was found burnt out at Candiz Place.