Tyrone Slemnik Tyrone Slemnik
Shot dead: Tyrone Slemnik.
The victim of a fatal drive-by shooting has been described as having a “heart of gold”, with family and friends paying tribute to Tyrone Lee Slemnik as a peacemaker with so much to live for.
But police say he is the victim of an ongoing turf war between bikie gangs the Hells Angels, with whom Slemnik was affiliated, and the Comancheros.
Slemnik, 37, was gunned down when at least six bullets from two different guns were fired into a car park outside an Eastlakes unit block from a dark sedan just before 10pm on Monday night.
Another man, aged 25, was shot in the leg outside the George Street property, while a third man who was standing outside the block called triple-0 and tried to revive his friend. He ran away when police arrived.
As police searched the unit block on Tuesday, a friend of Slemnik’s approached Fairfax Media and told of his distress at the incident.
“He had such a good heart, really, he had a heart of gold,” the friend said.
“It’s always the good guys who go first, always the good guys.”
The man, wearing a grey hooded jumper, said he was also friends with the owner of the unit connected to the shooting, and was waiting for him to talk to police.
“My mate got a call from the cops who said they were going to break his door down if we didn’t come and open the doors,” he said.
“So our mate gets shot and the cops raid my mate’s place. The law doesn’t make sense, man.”He said the other victim, who had been shot in the calf, was “completely fine”.
On social media, a sister of the deceased said: “Today my heart bleeds n my body is empty im going to miss you so much my baby brother R.I.P TYRONE SLEMNIK I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU.ITS NOT FAIR”.
Another relative said she “can’t express my feeling of how much pain the loss of my Uncle Tye has cause to me and the entire family. He was a peacemaker, the laugh of the party, a fantastic father/boyfriend/uncle/son/brother and so much more. Miss you so f—ing much uncle Tye, I hope the guy who did this rots in hell. R.I.P. Uncle Tyrone”.
Later, she added: “This is bullshit, targeted attack pfft, more like little f—ing kids with guns shooting around. He didn’t deserve to die, he had so much to live for. R.I.P Uncle Tye, I pray to God that who ever took my uncles life gets caught & sent to jail for life, getting put down like the mutts they are is just the easier way out, they deserve to rot in bars.”
A police source said an autopsy would formally confirm the victim’s identity.
Homicide Detective Inspector David Laidlaw said both victims were known to police and officers were interviewing a number of associates from each gang.
“We believe it’s a dispute between two gangs, two rival gangs,” he told reporters.
A black Mercedes four-wheel-drive seen leaving the scene shortly after police arrived on Monday night returned the next morning as police seized several items from a unit.
‘Bang, bang, bang, bang’
One neighbour said he was in the back room of his home when he heard four initial gun shots.
“Then there was about one second, and then bang, bang, bang, bang, at least another four shots,” said the neighbour, who asked not to be named.
He said about 10 seconds later he heard a car speeding away.
The shooting victims were screaming in the street, he said.
“I heard the man yelling ‘Argh!’, and I heard the other man yelling somebody’s name, and then he said ‘Oh no’.”
The neighbour said he heard screams for help coming from the street. The police came about 10 minutes later.
The neighbour said when he went outside he saw the body of the shooting victim lying on the road, and the injured man lying on the footpath.
“He was yelling ‘Argh, my leg!’,” the neighbour said.
He said he did not know the people involved in the shooting, but had heard several arguments on the street in the past year between two groups of people, including one group who lived in the apartment block.
Another George Street resident who lives a few doors down said her husband ran out onto the street after hearing gunshots and saw two bodies on the ground.
One man was lying on the nature strip and another on the road.
“I was on the phone about 9.50pm and I heard two shots and I thought they might have been coming from a car, and then no more than about 20, 30 seconds [later], about another four shots in quick succession and then a car just sped off,” the woman said.
“My husband … I didn’t want him to come out, but he just went to the front fence and then he saw … up out the front of the units, a body on the nature strip and then one was on the road ’cause he saw his foot on the curb,” she said.
“It was mayhem. There were police cars everywhere there would have been about five ambulance and then lots of cars with guys all running up the street, screaming, yelling. Was just chaotic for a bit.”
Another neighbour said a “gang” had moved into the block about six months ago.
He said he heard two gunshots, followed by four more and then a man screaming for help.
“One of them was screaming and screamed ‘help’. They are a bad bunch,” he said.
A man who lives a few doors down from the cream brick unit block said he had been living in the street for 35 years and described it as “the quietest street in Sydney”.
Anti-bikie Strike Force Raptor was assisting homicide and gangs squads with the canvass of the scene and interviewing witnesses. Detectives from the strike force have spoken to a number of residents on George Street and asked them not to talk to anyone.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.