13/10/2021 By RuneLite
A well-known crime figure has been shot dead in a gangland execution in Sydney's CBD.
Police said Bilal Hamze, the cousin of notorious gang leader Bassam Hamzy, was gunned down "in a hail of bullets" on Bridge Street, near Pitt Street, about 10.25pm yesterday.
Paramedics rushed the 34-year-old to St Vincent's Hospital but he died shortly after.
Violent killer Bassam Hamzy and the origins of Brothers 4 Life
Police are hunting a gunman after a well-known crime figure was shot dead in Sydney CBD. (Nine)
Police said Hamze was shot from a black car containing multiple assailants.
An Audi RS3 hatchback was later found burnt out on Fleming Street in Northwood on Sydney's Lower North Shore.
A second crime scene has been established there.
Police said CCTV from the busy part of the city would form part of the investigation.
"Identification of the man has been confirmed as 34-year-old Bilal Hamze," Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said.
"Detectives are conducting extensive canvassing of the area and that is involving not only talking to any witnesses or potential witnesses but also looking for CCTV.
"This was a brutal, execution-style murder. It was carried out in a busy street in the middle of Sydney's CBD. It was extremely fortunate that no members of the public were injured."
Criminal Groups Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Robert Critchlow, said escalated levels of crime among gang groups was predicted as a result of
"Our Deputy Commissioner forecast that we would see increased violence after the resolution of Operation Ironside," he said.
"We will be opening doors, kicking down doors, tipping people over, we will talk to them, we will harass them within the bounds of the law to make sure that they know that we are there.
"There will be several arrests that will flow from this."
Police 'very concerned' about more attacks after Sydney shooting of gang member's brother
Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said the shooting was a "major escalation" in Sydney's gang wars. (9News)
Detective Superintendent Doherty would not comment on whether Hamze was alone at the time of his death, however he did confirm there were multiple people in the car.
"One of the lines of inquiry is who he might have been in contact with either before or during the actual shooting," he said.
"We believe he left an establishment nearby and as he walked onto Bridge Street he was shot down in a hail of bullets."
He labelled the shooting as a "major escalation" in Sydney's underworld crime wars, saying that an innocent person could have easily been injured or even killed.
"We hate to see any innocent person be injured or killed and this could have easily led to that. You are in the CBD in Sydney, we have all been there into that intersection," he said.
"We all know at 10.30 on a Thursday night it is still a busy place.
"Still people leaving pubs, restaurants and other places. We're lucky that we haven't got more casualties."
An Audi found burnt out in Northwood is believed to have been used in the Bilal Hamze shooting. (9News)
Bilal Hamze was shot on Bridge Street in Sydney's CBD and died in hospital from his wounds. (Sydney Morning Herald)
Detective Superintendent Doherty said that the murder appeared to be a well-orchestrated attack.
"Someone who knows where he was at that time, to be able to be in that same spot and fire a number of shots and kill him, it's escalated behaviour," he said.
"One of our lines of inquiry is how they knew where he was."
Detective Superintendent Critchlow said Hamze had been warned by police on a "number of occasions" that a hit had been put out on him.
"He was warned of his risk and given warnings of his safety, that advice was not received and he lived his life the way he wanted to and made some choices," he said.
"There is a substantial risk of reprises and we appeal to those who chose to use violence, we want them to stop."
Bilal Hamze is believed to have been shot by multiple gunmen. (Sydney Morning Herald)
The Audi was found burnt out in Northwood after the shooting. (9News)
Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots ring out in the city last night.
"I was in bed reading and suddenly I heard several shots go off," one woman told 9News.
"I was like, 'That can't be a gun.'"
Eight years ago, Hamze's mother — Hamzy's aunt — survived an
attempt on her life
while at her own Auburn home.
Maha Hamze suffered eight bullet wounds to her hip and legs when at least 21 shots were fired from a Glock pistol into her Auburn home in Sydney's west.
A man, who could not be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of attempted murder in October 2014.
Bilal Hamze was fatally shot in the heart of Sydney's CBD. (Nine)
The incident had all the hallmarks of an execution-style shooting. (Nine)
Hamzy is currently locked up in Australia's toughest prison, Goulburn Supermax, convicted of murder and trying to run a drug syndicate from his cell.
He has been in prison, where he started B4L after converting to radical Islam, for almost two decades, having been jailed for the 1998 murder of a teenager, Kris Toumazis, outside a Sydney nightclub.
He was later
found guilty of running a violent drug ring
from his prison cell, making up to 450 phone calls a day using a
smuggled mobile phone
Police established Hamzy had used the phone to organise two kidnappings and a drive-by shooting and in 2017, prison officers found a
flash drive containing Islamic State material
during a targeted search for a phone in his cell.
He was also involved in a
brawl with fellow high-profile inmate
and convicted terrorist Talal Alameddine in October last year.
Brothers 4 Life gang founder Bassam Hamzy was convicted of the 1998 murder of a teenager outside a Sydney nightclub. (Supplied)
His brother Mejid Hamzy was shot dead in October as he left his Condell Park home.
That shooting sparked police fears a
gang war could erupt
in Sydney's south-west.
In the wake of that murder, police restricted the movements of more than 20 people in an effort to prevent retaliation attacks.
Mahmoud Hamzy — another cousin — was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity in his Revesby Heights garage in 2013.