Politics

Bilal Hamze’s Sydney’s CBD shooting labelled ‘brutal execution-style murder’ of crime boss

Multiple gunmen have opened fire on underworld figure Bilal Hamze in Sydney’s CBD, killing the notorious gangster in what police say is a major escalation of gang violence in the city.

The 34-year-old was peppered with bullets as he left a restaurant on Thursday night in Bridge Street, near Circular Quay and died shortly after in St Vincent’s Hospital.

Watch the report on the killing in the video above

He is the cousin of Brothers for Life figurehead and Goulburn Supermax inmate Bassam Hamzy.

Detectives believe it’s part of an ongoing conflict between the rival Hamze and Alameddine families and organised crime networks or the result of arrests made last week under Operation Ironside – an international sting on organised crime.

NSW Police Homicide Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said “once you disrupt organised crime networks, there is always going to be some irritation, and this may have been a result of that”.

Police at the scene of a fatal shooting on Bridge Street in the Sydney CBD. Credit: Dean Lewins/AAP

It was fortunate members of the public weren’t injured during the “brutal execution-style murder”, he told reporters on Friday.

“We’re lucky that we haven’t got more casualties. We are lucky that there is no one else injured.

“It is a major escalation … There were still people leaving pubs, restaurants and other places and motels.”

Police are poring over the area and also examining a burnt-out black Audi found at Northwood on Sydney’s lower north shore that’s been linked to the shooting.

Criminal Groups Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Robert Critchlow said there were concerns about revenge attacks.

“We’ll be opening doors, we’ll be kicking down doors, we’ll be tipping people over,” he said.

“It will not be business as usual for the criminal fraternity in Sydney after today.”

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