A maroon ute may hold the key to solving a fatal shooting outside a popular Melbourne nightclub.
Security guard Aaron Khalid Osmani, 37, and Richard Arow, 28, died after shots were fired from a car into the crowd outside Prahran’s Love Machine nightclub on April 14. Four others were injured.
Homicide detectives said a gun was discharged by a person inside a stolen black Porsche SUV as it drove past the nightclub at about 3:10am.
Detective Acting Inspector Julian Horan said police believe the ute is connected to the arson and the murder.
Officers have been looking at “owners of all maroon utes as part of the ongoing investigation”.
“We still have an open mind in relation to the investigation, but we suspect at least two people were involved on the night,” he said.
“We have a number of suspects and persons-of-interests and are pursuing all avenues.”
Detective Horan said police would not stop until the people behind the “reckless and cowardly” attack on “one of Melbourne’s busiest entertainment precincts” were behind bars.
Police are also looking at outlaw motorcycle gangs and other criminal gangs, appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
“People know why shooting occurred and who was responsible. Even people who engage in this type of violence know it crossed the line,” he said.
“Arow, Osmani, the four other victims and others in the nightclub impacted are not involved in organised crime. This is gone well beyond for tit-for-tat issue with gangsters.”
Richard’s girlfriend Rebekah Spinks, who was with him on the night of the shooting, described the horror she felt witnessing his murder.
“He was on a boys’ night with his friends and myself and a friend joined them on Chapel Street,” she said.
“We had been there maybe two minutes.”
She said Richard was talking to Aaron Osmani, while she stood with his friends just metres away, when the shooter fired.
“I was looking at Richard. I don’t have a great deal of recollection other than running to him. I thought he had just fallen,” she said.
“I didn’t what was happening around me I was just trying to help him.”
Ms Spinks said she was still in disbelief over the incident and pleaded for anyone with information to come forward.
“That night I feel like those men were just so callous and had no regard for humanity,” she said.
“They didn’t care who they were hurting and they took the life of a really great man and destroyed the life of hundreds of people.
“Those people don’t deserve to walk around the city, they don’t deserve to go home to their families.
“They made people frightened to casually socialise with friends or walk down the street. They don’t belong in society.”
Richard’s mother Yom Ayom said she fled Sudan with her five young children for the safety of Melbourne in November 2002 and was shocked to see the very thing she was running away from had taken the life of her son.
“Richard was a good person with a big open heart,” she said. “To get closure we need some justice carried out to the people who took his life.”
The Osmani family, meanwhile, have issued a statement saying they hope the release of the new CCTV footage will bring them answers.
“Our son, brother and friend was taken too soon. He was only 37 and had his whole life ahead of him. It’s been two months since we lost Aaron but our family is still grieving a lot, especially our parents,” the statement read.
“Aaron was a very loving and caring person. He lived with our parents and dedicated a lot of time to caring for them. He worked on the weekends but through the week he looked after our mum and dad. Spent a lot of time with them.
“Family was so important to him and we really miss him a lot. His friends were like his family and their life has changed for ever as has everyone else involved.
“Aaron was our older sibling and he always looked out for his younger brothers and sister. His love for his three-year-old niece cannot be expressed in words and she also adored him and keeps asking where he is.”