Bikie mayhem rocks mall
April 29, 2012
THE outlaw motorcycle gang war in Queensland escalated into what police yesterday called "the worst possible scenario", with a woman who was an innocent bystander shot inside a busy Gold Coast shopping centre.
The 45-year-old woman was taken to hospital in a stable condition suffering from what a Queensland Ambulance spokesman said was a gunshot wound to the pelvis.
The man police believe was the intended victim, a 40-year-old they say has links to a bikie gang, was shot in the left biceps.
Worst-case scenario … a woman shot in bikie-related violence lies on the floor, while police investigate. Photo: Nine News
The injured man has been identified by police sources as Jacques Teamo, who is known to have a long history with the Bandidos motorcycle gang and owns the East Coast Ink tattoo parlour at Mermaid Beach.
Four shots were fired at the tattoo parlour early last Tuesday in what police believe was part of an escalating feud.
Yesterday's shootings took place at the Robina Town Centre just before 2pm. The gunman, described by hundreds of terrified shoppers as being of Pacific Islander or Maori appearance with a "significant" tattoo on his neck, had not been found last night, even though police locked down the centre within minutes of the first gunshot.
The Police Commissioner, Bob Atkinson, called the bikie violence "the worst he had seen in Queensland. I am very concerned about what we have seen in the space of less than a week''.
"We've seen shots fired into a tattoo parlour on the Gold Coast; we've seen what we possibly believe is a car set fire to here in Brisbane; there have been incidents on Thursday where two men were attacked by men in balaclavas armed with baseball bats; we've seen what we suspect was an attempt to fire shots late at night at the clubhouse of the Gypsy Jokers at Everton Hills and now we have this today," he said.
Witnesses to the shooting reported hearing two gunshots. Lyn Searles said she had been shopping on the level above where the shootings occurred when she heard the first shot. "It was a distinct, very loud gunshot and everyone just froze," she said.
"Then there was another shot and it was pandemonium. Everyone panicked and just ran for the fire doors. Children were separated from their parents and just stood there crying. No one knew what had happened. We just knew there were gunshots.''
Another woman said she saw the gunman approach Mr Teamo and say "F--- you", then pull out the gun.
She said the woman appeared to have accidentally stepped in between the two men and was shot.
Mr Atkinson said while there had been bikie violence across Queensland and the nation in recent years, it was usually kept behind closed doors.
The escalation of the violence "into a public place, with a firearm and a potentially innocent member of the public being shot and other members of the public terrified and potentially put at risk", shone a light on how dangerous the gangs really were, he said.
Bikie wars: Man and woman shot at Robina Town Centre
The Sunday Mail (Qld)
April 29, 2012
A BRAZEN gunman was still on the loose last night after a terrifying double shooting at the Gold Coast's busiest shopping centre, as a bikie war on the Glitter Strip escalated to potentially deadly levels.
A woman, 53, was shot in the crossfire as a heavily tattooed bikie opened fire on a rival gang member, believed to be Jacques Teamo, at the packed Robina Town Centre.
Police confirmed the male victim was aged 43.
It is alleged he was shot in the arm and the woman in the buttocks. Both were in a stable condition last night.
Hundreds of shoppers ran for their lives while shopkeepers closed stores and cowered behind counters with customers as shots rang out near the centre's busy food court and cinema complex.
"I heard a massive bang and turned around and saw the gunman with his hand out and he went 'bang, bang'," said one young male witness, too frightened to be named.
"I ducked down and grabbed my girlfriend and ran. We saw the guy who got shot - another big bikie guy had been shot straight through his arm."
The witness said the bleeding bikie started walking away with a young child who appeared to be his son.
"The guy who shot him just casually walked out and went down the escalator, just like nothing happened," he said.
Witnesses said both bikies were covered in tattoos.
Hayley Crowe, who works in a shop metres from the shooting, said she heard the gunshots and saw shoppers screaming and running.
"There were people running into our shop," she said.
"Pretty much everyone locked themselves in our back room and closed the door.
"We were pretty scared. It's not something that happens on your average Saturday afternoon at Robina."
English tourist Jason Chambers was heading to the food court with his girlfriend.
"I don't want to say it was like something out of a gangster movie but that's exactly what it was like," he said.
"I didn't think this kind of thing happened in Australia."
Tweed Heads woman Aimee Tilton said she scooped up her two children, aged 5 and 2, and ran into a card shop to hide.
"My first thought was obviously my kids so I just grabbed them and ran into Kenny's Cardiology and jumped behind the counter," she said.
Dozens of police swarmed on the centre and cordoned off a blood-spattered first-floor thoroughfare, which only minutes earlier had been crowded.
Shoppers said they were shocked and angry the bikies were now waging war in public places where innocent people could get hurt.
"It's completely ridiculous," one man said.
"Why don't they just take their feuding and violence somewhere else where nobody can be killed?"
Police Inspector Bruce Kuhn said the gunman was still at large but did not believe he was a public threat.
"At this stage we don't believe there's a threat to any other person," he said.
He would not confirm a link to Tuesday's drive-by shooting at the Bandido-owned East Coast Ink tattoo shop at Mermaid Beach but said investigations continued.
Insp Kuhn said it was fortunate more people were not injured. "It is a very busy shopping centre and there were a lot of people in the vicinity," he said.
Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson yesterday said the bikie war was the worst he had ever seen in Queensland, while Police Minister Jack Dempsey said the Government would crack down on illegal firearms, imposing harsher penalties.
Mr Dempsey said the Government would look at laws specifically focusing on outlaw motorcycle gangs. "We'll be looking at all laws to ensure that these illegal groups are not feeling comfortable in their beds and in their homes," he said.
The gunman was described as being of Islander appearance, 180cm tall, of muscular build, with full neck tattoo.
Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 with any information on the incident.
- Greg Stolz, Jeremy Pierce, Alison Sandy