The Western Australian Police Force has launched a special task force after Rebels bikie boss Nick Martin was shot dead in front of thousands of onlookers, including his family, at the Perth Motorplex on Saturday night.
Operation Rovello, which already includes more than 100 officers, will see the Gang Crime Squad and the Homicide Squad join forces and work with other national agencies including the Australian Federal Police.
It comes after the 51-year-old was executed and two others were injured in front of family members as they sat watching an event about 8:40pm.
The partner of Mr Martin’s daughter, 31-year-old Ricky Chapman was shot in the ordeal, he underwent surgery today.
A five-year-old boy, understood to be sitting on Mr Martin’s wife lap, was also grazed by a bullet but did not require hospital treatment.
State Crime Assistant Commissioner Brad Royce said WA police are coming down hard.
“We will be knocking on lots of gates and doors over the next month or two,” Mr Royce said.
“To ensure the community remains safe, we’re taking the fight back to the gangs in Western Australia.
“I can assure you that all gangs, whether they are involved in this or not, are going to be seeing a lot more attention from WA police and our partners.
“When we come, we will be coming in force, we make no apology for that, if the one percent want to come out into our community and commit acts of violence where we go with our families then we will go into their community.”
Skeer Media was there as police carried out their investigation on Saturday night with journalist Tex Reeks the first to break the news.
Officers had blocked off the entry to the venue with people only allowed to exit.
Parents said they were not able to go in and collect their children who were attending with friends, instead, they were forced to walk 500 meters out of the venue to meet mums and dads at the roadblock.
One witness told Skeer Media he thought it was just a typical fight but turned around to see people with gunshot wounds.
“Everyone was running,” he said.
“One bloke was shot in the chest, the other bloke got shot in the arm and leg.
“The guy that got shot in the chest is apparently the president of the Rebels, he’s been on the news heaps lately.”
The witness further explained he believed it was a sniper “because the people on the far side of the track heard gunshots and the people where the guys got shot didn’t hear anything.”
Seven reported that detectives believe it was in fact a sniper who took the shot but the Assistant Commissioner explained the investigation had a long way to go.
“The investigation is so early in the piece, we’ve got so many moving parts and forensic work to do,” Mr Royce said.
“We can make assumptions, we all can, but we still don’t know until we get a little bit further in, we’ve only got what you know and what we see, there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes.
“We work with ballistic experts and we track the information and the evidence.”
As for this distance between the shooter and the victims, Mr Royce said it was just too difficult to establish this early on.
“There’s a number of locations, you’re probably aware we’ve looked at some of those in detail but we can’t, at this stage, remove any of the other areas until we’ve had a full opportunity at it with forensics,” he said.
“Anyone can take a long shot if they are not worried about collateral damage,” he said.
“Only a murderer is not going to worry about families sitting right around the area.”
Questions have been raised as to whether or not it was a professional that carried out the gangland execution, however, social media users, recreational shooters, and specialist operations sources have suggested most people who know how to shoot and operate a gun could most likely take the same shot.
The Assistant Commissioner said there was nothing professional about shooting someone in front of families.
“I don’t think murdering someone in amongst women and children is professional,” he said.
“So I wouldn’t be calling it professional as such as someone who has disregard for the community.”
More than 6500 police work to keep WA’s communities safe and right now they need public help.
The force is appealing for anyone with the slightest information, who may have witnessed the incident, or has any vision to contact Crime Stoppers.
Assistant Commissioner Royce reminded the public that submitting information to Crime Stoppers can be done anonymously.
“I can say, the community have been fantastic, we’re getting a lot of feedback through crime stoppers,” he said.
“We understand in these incidents people are a bit worried about getting involved, but you do have an opportunity through crime stoppers to remain anonymous.
“It gives you a good opportunity to work with police and protect your own community.”