Police say the family of a man shot in what appears to be a premeditated attack in Melbourne’s north-west overnight are at a loss to explain why he was targeted.
- The man was shot in the leg with a shotgun at close range with no warning or demands
- He had just returned home with his family from a wedding
- The assailant is believed to have been waiting for him
The 57-year-old victim and his wife were approached by a masked man with a shotgun in the driveway of their home in Belleview Drive, Sunbury, about 1:00am.
The victim was shot in the leg at close range and is recovering in the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a stable condition. The man’s wife was not injured.
Detective Senior-Constable Mark Walsh said the woman was traumatised as were other family members who were inside the home and heard the incident.
Senior-Constable Walsh said the family claimed to have no idea why the man was targeted.
“They can’t think of anything in their background or past issues that would have caused this to occur,” he said.
He said the family had just returned home from a wedding and were heading inside when the man approached and fired the gun.
“He hasn’t spoken or made any demands whatsoever,” he said. “He’s just walked up and fired the shot straight into the victim.”
The gunman fled the scene in what’s believed to be a white or silver 4WD that police believe was being driven by another person who had remained in the car.
“It’s very concerning to us the level of violence that’s been displayed,” Senior-Constable Walsh said.
“The fact that it shows a level of premeditation given that vehicle was seen by witnesses up to an hour prior to the offence occurring.
“A lot of premeditation and planning and the fact that it involves a firearm is obviously of great concern to us.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at the Crime Stoppers website.
Increasing gun culture
The incident comes only a day after police warned of an increasing gun culture in Melbourne’s north-west amid a spate of shootings.
Two men suffered non-fatal gunshot wounds in separate shootings in the early hours of Friday morning in Melton and Epping.
Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said neither of the victims were assisting police.
Assistant Commissioner Cornelius said there had been a “significant increase” in the number of crimes involving guns in Melbourne’s north-west.
“Why are firearms being used more often? I think the answer is pretty obvious,” he said.
“As we see the emergence of a gun culture and a preparedness to use firearms in the facilitation of criminal activities, so we’re seeing their prevalence and their use increasing.
“This is very concerning because this presents a considerable risk not only to my members but also to the community and more particularly innocent members of the community.”
He said police have executed more than 200 searches for firearms in Melbourne’s north-west in the past year.