Skip to comments.Gangster style murders hit suburban Sydney (Australia, post-gun laws)
Posted on 10/16/2003 9:47:57 PM PDT by Byron_the_Aussie
It's like the Godfather meets Romeo and Juliet with a touch of Quentin Tarantino thrown in - but this tale of warring families and murders is not a slick Hollywood production, it's life on the streets of south-west Sydney.
On Tuesday, a carload of balaclava-clad men screeched up to a suburban Greenacre home in the dead of night, killing two people in a hail of about 100 bullets.
The deaths brought the body count in the long-running suburban war between two Sydney families to three, after another deadly shooting outside a mosque in August.
In the days after the Lawford Street gun battle, themes of violence, revenge, gang warfare and a bitter marriage breakdown emerged.
The bloodshed is believed to stem from a sharp escalation in the family feud in August, triggered when father of four Ali Abdulrazak was murdered gangland style in a volley of bullets after he finished praying at Lakemba Mosque.
It was mid-afternoon when Mr Abdulrazak was shot up to 10 times in the head and chest by masked men who pulled up beside the car in which he sat after leaving the mosque.
Six weeks later, on Tuesday, his nephew Ziad Abdulrazak died when bullets ripped through the home in Lawford Street and into the back of his head.
The second victim of the shooting, 22-year-old mother of two Mervat Hamka, died when bullets struck her in the neck as she slept in the same house.
It is possible gunfire was returned before the attackers fled in a stolen car, later discovered burnt out less than a kilometre away.
As Ziad Abdulrazak lay dying in the loungeroom, the dead woman's husband - Ali Hamka - ran from the home screaming for help.
A bitter marriage break-up, involving guns and death threats is believed to have fuelled the feud that culminated in the bloody killings.
Court papers reportedly revealed the former wife of Ali Abdulrazak, Kadige Darwiche, fled to a women's refuge last year because she feared he would kill her.
But a woman, identifying herself as Ms Darwiche, publicly denied a family feud was behind the killings, instead blaming spiralling gang warfare.
The woman rang Arabic radio station 2ME saying she was Kadige Darwiche, who separated from Ali Abdulrazak 18 months before he was murdered.
Ms Darwiche said her family was on her late husband's side.
"My family did not support me during the divorce. They were totally against it," she told 2ME.
She said she believed the killings were committed by "enemies who wanted to see the Razaks dead", and denied the separation was to blame.
Breaking down as she spoke of her husband of 12 years, Ms Darwiche said there were "problems" after the marriage breakdown but no serious battles over custody or other issues.
"It was definitely gang [related]," she said of the killings.
However, after the marriage collapsed Ms Darwiche took out an apprehended violence order against her former husband, newspapers reported.
But Ali Abdulrazak is said to have breached it five times, approaching her and threatening to kill her and take their four children.
Despite making formal complaints to police, which resulted in charges against her husband, Ms Darwiche withdrew the applications after failing to appear in court.
The police, who say they are also investigating allegations the shootings were part of a turf war, say the families involved have been unwilling to speak to police.
Detectives attached to Strike Force Grapple are investigating links between Tuesday's double murder, Ali Abdulrazak's killing, at least three other shootings and an attack on a butcher.
Two of the shootings occurred within 12 hours of the August 29 execution of Ali Abdulrazak.
Early the following day two homes in Liverpool and Lurnea were peppered with semi-automatic gunfire in the space of about 20 minutes.
The first attack was in Liverpool when at least two gunmen opened fire on Boundary Road home where a man, his wife and two of their three adult sons were sleeping.
Gunmen struck again minutes later, about 1.50am (AEST,) in nearby Darling Street, Lurnea, peppering a two-storey brick home where three children and six adults were asleep.
Police are also examining the August 27 attack on a house in Yanderra Street, Condell Park. The residents escaped uninjured after more than 50 bullets were fired about 9.30pm (AEST).
And during a July 30 attack a Bankstown butcher was shot several times during a robbery by masked men.
A political war has also erupted, with NSW Premier Bob Carr accused of inflaming racism by saying the killers should "ship out" of the country.
State and federal politicians and community leaders attacked his remarks.
Federal Multicultural Affairs Minister, Gary Hardgrave, said they were divisive and unhelpful.
"To blame migrants, to scapegoat people, is just not good enough," he said, adding that it was "very poor reflection on Bob Carr" to make the generalisation.
Lebanese community leader, Keysar Trad, said the comments inflamed racial tension.
"The Lebanese Muslim community are having great difficulty understanding how this has changed from a crime investigation into a race issue."
Shell-shocked neighbours initially couldn't comprehend what happened - some saying they heard loud bangs but simply thought it was "teens setting off firecrackers".
None thought this horror would unfold in their neighbourhood.
In any event, the anti-gun nuts will ignore this the same way they ignore the failure of confiscation in other places.
"On Tuesday, a carload of balaclava-clad men screeched up to a suburban Greenacre home in the dead of night, killing two people in a hail of about 100 bullets."
I can pass on the good news that common sense is finally seeping through, albeit at a snail's pace. Talk radio this week has completely ignored the usual liberal mantra of 'less guns, less crime', and has focused on the perps' responsibility.
No, they won't. Their standard policy on any firearm incident is to take guns away from the people who are not causing the problem.
Yep. Ever noticed that when a Muslim, citing his religious beliefs, murders a bunch of Christians or Jews, it's 'don't blame all Muslims for the actions of one!' Yet when some nut with a gun shoots an innocent, at random, it's 'all gunowners must accept further restrictions, to prevent this happening again.'