The Melbourne nightclub shooter may have been a patron evicted from the venue earlier in the night due to bad behaviour, it has been revealed.
Police are exploring whether an unruly group who were removed from the Love Machine nightclub could have been responsible for Sunday’s deadly attack.
Shooters in a stolen Porsche arrived at the venue, in Prahran, at about 3:10am Sunday morning, firing four shots towards the club.
Bouncer Aaron Khalid Osmani was shot in the head at later died in hospital, while patron Richard Arow, 28, is fighting for his life in hospital.
Aaron Khalid Osmani, 37, died in hospital from his injuries after he was shot outside the Love Machine Nightclub
Crime Command Assistant Commissioner Tess Walsh confirmed that outlaw motorcycle gangs and Middle Eastern crime groups were being investigated.
Police believe that experienced criminals are involved because of the nature of the attack, she added.
‘Clearly there are tensions escalating… this is a targeted attack but we don’t understand the motive or people involved in it,’ Ms Walsh said.
Security staff at the venue had been warned in the last few weeks of tensions escalating among patrons who were refused entry or removed from the premises.
Richard Arow (pictured with his girlfriend Rebekah Spinks) is fighting for life in hospital a day after he was gunned down in a drive-by shooting
A source told the Herald Sun recent renovations had attracted a new crowd to the venue, which is now often brimming with ‘bikies and strippers’.
In mid-March, a man who was removed from the venue for shadow boxing on the dance floor got physically violent with a manager on the street.
Police were forced to step in and restrain him. He was then refused entry again the following week.
Only two weeks ago an incident involving up to 20 men also attracted police attention.
Security recognised a number of ‘people of note’ in the group, and they were all refused entry.
Mr Arow was outside the Love Machine nightclub (crime scene pictured) in Prahran about 3.10am on Sunday when four shots were fired from a stolen Porsche
‘We think this is quite a specific, targeted attack, but we do not understand the motive, nor the people who are involved in it at this time,’ Ms Walsh said.
She said Love Machine’s owners had been very cooperative and detectives hoped to review CCTV from venue.
They would also investigate whether it was linked to other recent underworld-linked shootings.
Ms Walsh asked anyone with information to contact police, particularly those known to the shooters.
Ali Shohani, 26, was at Love Machine nightclub when he saw the gunman open fire in the brazen drive-by shooting.
‘He just got shot in front of me. Aaron looked at me in my face before he fell down to the floor,’ Mr Shohani told 9News as he choked back tears.
‘It was like a war zone, I have never experienced this in my life,’ he said of the Prahran shooting, which occurred while he was lining up to get into the nightclub.
Mr Shohani fell to the ground after being shot.
‘I thought they were going to continue shooting so I just thought I should stay on the floor,’ he said.
After being treated by paramedics on the scene, Mr Shohani drove himself to hospital where he underwent surgery to remove a bullet in his arm.
Social media posts by 28-year-old Richard Arow’s friends and girlfriend on Monday afternoon suggested he had died.
However, Ms Walsh confirmed hours later he was still alive but in a critical condition.
‘Innocent people have been impacted in the most serious way,’ she said in reference to Mr Arow.
Ali Shohani played dead at Melbourne’s Love Machine nightclub on Sunday morning, while he saw nightclub bouncer Aaron Khalid Osmani get shot in the face
After being treated by paramedics on the scene, Mr Shohani drove himself to hospital where he underwent surgery to remove a bullet in his arm
The Chelsea FC fan’s friend Anthony Morello wrote on social media: ‘Our friend was innocently standing in the wrong place at the wrong time.
‘Your million dollar smile & warm energy was so infectious and would light up any room you walked into.
‘One of the friendliest and most cheerful guys I’ve had the pleasure of meeting… You will be missed by many and remembered for ever as someone with a big beautiful heart.’
Another friend, Pasha Okanlar, blamed himself for Mr Arow being shot as he was not out clubbing with him that night as he often was.
Worried friends of Mr Arow (pictured left with friends inside a different nightclub) posted about him on social media on Monday afternoon
‘My heart is broken, brother you were something different like you were a true brother, a real one, always kept it real and kept it 100 per cent,’ he wrote.
‘So many laughs so many tears we had my brother, we always had each other’s back but on this one time I wasn’t there look what happened.’
A third friend, Krystal Jade, wrote: ‘Your presence was of pure calmness and positivity. You were truly a well respected soul full of kindness upon every meeting.’
Police are hunting two men (pictured on CCTV) seen running from a burning Porsche used in a drive-by shooting at a nightclub in which a bouncer was killed
The car was torched in Wollert, north Melbourne after the 3am shooting at Love Machine in Prahran on Sunday
The Love Machine (pictured) was packed with patrons at the time of the shooting
Mr Osmani was remembered as a ‘beautiful soul’ who was loved by all as friends and colleagues flooded social media with tributes to the ‘kind soul’.
‘My heart is broken… you were the most kind-hearted soul I have met since I started working at Love Machine,’ wrote one female worker at the club.
‘You were everything to me. I’m broken that you are gone,’ wrote another.
Police are hunting two men seen running from a burning Porsche used in the drive-by shooting, which may have been carried out by a bikie gang.
The stolen car was torched in Wollert, north Melbourne after the shooting.
CCTV images show two men running away from the burnt-out getaway car two hours after the attack.
As daylight broke, forensic police spent several hours photographing evidence at the scene