Tue, Jun 16, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Australian ‘gangster’ shot dead in Melbourne: reports

AFP , MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

A man believed to be a notorious gangster was shot dead in a busy Melbourne street yesterday, sparking fears of a resurgence in an underworld war that has claimed around 30 lives, reports said yesterday.

Police said that a man in his 60s was shot and killed in a suburb of Australia’s second city shortly after noon, but they refused to confirm media reports the victim was Des “Tuppence” Moran, the member of an infamous Melbourne crime family.

Moran’s brother Lewis and his nephews Jason and Mark were all killed in Melbourne’s drug gangs war that raged from 1995 to 2004 and was dramatized in Australia’s hit Underbelly TV series.

The Age newspaper reported that Moran was killed in an execution-style hit, quoting ambulance officers saying he had suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the head and witnesses saying three men had fired at him.

A witness named Joan said the shooting occurred on a busy street with children nearby.

“I was across the road from where it happened, at the post office and I just heard all these gunshots,” she told commercial radio. “I’m really angry because there were lots of kids and what not, going about their business. It’s a really busy shopping strip ... there was people everywhere.”

Another witness, Han Tarkeek, told national news agency AAP that Lewis Moran’s wife, Judy, arrived at the scene within 15 minutes of the shooting screaming “Dessy, Dessy.”

Moran survived an attempted assassination in March, when a balaclava-clad gunman fired at him while he was sitting in a car. The bullet lodged in the steering wheel.

The incident follows this month’s shooting of a Sydney businessman with close links to the city’s notorious Kings Cross area. Fadi Ibrahim was shot five times and remains in hospital fighting for his life.

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