Police spoke with a number of witnesses after shots were fired in the foyer and in the street of a Kensington venue last night. Picture: Lawrence Pinder
Police spoke with a number of witnesses after shots were fired in the foyer and in the street of a Kensington venue last night. Picture: Lawrence Pinder

Terrifying murder inside packed venue

A "packed" Melbourne Pavilion was preparing to witness a planned boxing match last night when shots rang out in the foyer and in the street.

Bullets flew around the Kensington venue, 4km northwest of the Melbourne CBD, about 10pm, hitting and killing one man.

A second man suffered a life-threatening gunshot wound and is in hospital in a critical condition.

A third person, whose gender was not revealed by police, was struck by a bullet but is in a stable condition.

Police say shots were fired inside the foyer of the venue and that a number of vehicles were hit in the street.

A large police presence arrived shortly after 10pm last night. Picture: Lawrence Pinder
A large police presence arrived shortly after 10pm last night. Picture: Lawrence Pinder

They say it's extremely fortunate that nobody else was hit and killed given the amount of foot traffic and the volume of people packed in for the WBA Oceania cruiserweight title fight.

Detective Sergeant Sol Solomon from the Homicide Squad told reporters this morning that officers were "extremely disturbed" by the brazen nature of the attack.

"An incident occurred out the front of the club, whereby three of the victims were shot," he said.

"One was killed at the scene out the front of the Pavilion Club, and two others were shot.

One was shot inside the foyer of the club. A third victim received a gunshot wound, we're not sure exactly where."

He said there were "quite a number of shots" fired and police believed it was a targeted attack. They have not ruled out links to bikie activity and are going through CCTV footage from the street and from inside the venue to determine the exact sequence of events.

 

Two shooters remain on the run. Picture: Lawrence Pinder
Two shooters remain on the run. Picture: Lawrence Pinder

 

"At this point in time, we have not identified those responsible … we have not identified the motive, however the information we have gleaned so far makes us confident this was a targeted attack," Detective Solomon said.

"At the moment, the crime scene is still being processed, investigations are continuing and I would like to make an appeal to the public for anybody who might know something about this incident. Anybody at the club at the time should come forward or contact their nearest police station."

The seven-bout card was headlined by the fight between Kane Watts and Jayden Joseph. The other feature event on the card included Junlong Zhang from China, a heavyweight boxer with a 19-0 record.

The Melbourne Pavilion, on Racecourse Road, has a capacity to seat 700 people. Police said it was full at the time of the shooting.

Officers who arrived at the scene shortly after 10pm taped off the area and escorted patrons out slowly. They attempted to speak with as many attendees as possible.

 

Homicide Squad Sergeant Sol Solomon speaks to media outside Melbourne Pavilion in Kensington. Picture: James Ross/AAP
Homicide Squad Sergeant Sol Solomon speaks to media outside Melbourne Pavilion in Kensington. Picture: James Ross/AAP

 

A ballistic team attended, but police would not release any information about what type of weapon was used in the shooting.

Detective Solomon said the shooters were captured on CCTV walking from the venue but it was not clear whether they entered a car or continued on foot.

He said all three victims "were known to police" but there was "no information as to whether it was gang-related".

Reporters asked him whether there was any truth to reports of an argument inside between patrons at two tables. He said that police were aware of the reports and were looking into their credibility.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


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