Police hope members of the outlaw bikie gang The Bandidos will help
them find the killer of a member shot down outside the gang’s Geelong
Bandido gang member Ross Brand, 51, of Torquay, died early Thursday morning after being shot in the head in an ambush last night.
Another gang member was wounded in the shooting as he left the club
with Brand and two other men just after 6pm (AEDT) on Wednesday.
He will undergo surgery to remove shotgun pellets to his forearm, buttocks and thigh.
Detective Inspector Steve Clark said police were keeping an open mind
on the shooting and were not assuming it was carried out by a rival
“We don’t want to speculate,” he told journalists.
“Certainly we don’t have a closed mind and have views that the shooting was necessarily done by another outlaw motorcycle gang.
“We need to review all the evidence we have got and see where it takes us.”
Brand said police were hopeful gang members would help the investigation and not hide behind a wall of silence.
“We’re pleased with the cooperation so far and have no reason to suspect that people won’t talk to us,” he said.
“We have a whole range of inquiries we are yet to make.”
The two other uninjured men have provided statements and are cooperating with detectives.
Police will also look at CCTV footage outside the bikie club.
A volley of shots was fired from a white twin-cab utility vehicle parked outside the club as the men left the premises, near the corner of Bayldon Court and Leather Street in an industrial area of the Geelong suburb of Breakwater.
The shooting coincides with the announcement of a new Victorian police taskforce targeting street shootings.
“We’ve observed that over the last 12 months there’s been a number of shootings occurring around Melbourne,” Detective Superintendent Paul Hollowood said.
He said most of the shootings were non-fatal but police were concerned about the public nature of the incidents and the fact victims were often uncooperative.
Hollowood said very few of the 20 shootings over the past year involved bikie gangs, but all were related to some form of criminal activity.
He said Victoria did not need a specialist bikie squad as there was already a group monitoring motorcycle gangs.
Hollowood rejected suggestions Victoria should adopt laws similar to those in South Australia banning motorcycle gangs, saying it went against Victoria’s charter of human rights.
“It will merely drive that activity underground,” he said.
This was the second shooting incident at the Bandidos’ Geelong headquarters in less than 18 months.
In March last year, more than 30 shots were fired into the clubhouse, and a car outside it was riddled with bullets.
At the time, detectives said the shooting may have been part of a bikie turf war.
Condolences for Brand have flooded in from around the world on the Bandidos’ international guest book internet site.
The most chilling of all came from Bandido Mick in Europe and Horse from Port Macquarie – “God forgives, Bandidos don’t.”
One member of the Tulsa chapter in the United States wrote: “My heart goes out for your loss, such a cowardly act!!!! You are all in our prayers.”
Jamie from the Gold Coast described Brand as “a true stand-up guy, a much-loved friend and brother.”