Mark Buttler and Josh Fagan
One of the most dangerous figures in Melbourne’s underworld Nabil Maghnie has been shot dead following a dramatic incident in Epping, with sources saying “it was only a matter of time” the feared triggerman met his fate.
Maghnie, considered one of the most dangerous figures in the city’s underworld, was killed in a shooting at Epping. Emergency services were called to the intersection of Childs Rd and Dalton Rd in Epping about 8.30pm on Thursday night after reports that three people had been shot. Maghnie died at the scene. Two other men, including one of Maghnie’s sons, were wounded.
One source said Maghnie had been living dangerously for years. “It was a matter of time,” they said. His enemies included Mongols Motorcycle Club members and a northern suburbs crime family.
The homicide investigation could prove challenging. Maghnie has a long list of enemies, among them members of various outlaw motorcycle clubs, powerful Middle-Eastern crime figures and victims of his trigger-happy nature.
Police will be conscious of the risk of payback attacks from Maghnie’s allies. He is said to have been at ease recently, showing no sign of fears for his safety. Last night, about 30 of Maghnie’s relatives and friends consoled each other behind police tape at the Dalton Rd scene.
Blood stains could be seen on the footpath. About 11.40pm, a man in a hospital gown arrived at the scene and had to be held up by other mourners. He had a bloodied knee and was limping. After briefly greeting people gathered, he was whisked away in a car driven by a shirtless man.
A neighbour Julie, who asked for her surname not to be used, said her husband called out to her about 8.30pm and said he had heard three gunshots. “I said to him you’re crazy, but he said no, definitely gunshots,” she said. “We went outside and saw the ambulances and the police. I can’t believe it, it is ridiculous. It is way too close to home.”
Maghnie has been under investigation over last April’s double-fatal drive-by shooting at the Love Machine nightclub. Maghnie’s son, Jacob Elliott, is on remand after being charged with the Love Machine killings. Maghnie was a suspect in numerous other non-fatal shootings, including an attempted hit on Mongols strongman Toby Mitchell outside the Brunswick clubhouse.
He was last November arrested and questioned over the murder of bikie-linked crime figure Mitat Rasimi.
Maghnie, a suspected associate of the Comanchero motorcycle club, was on bail over a high-speed smash in the northeastern suburbs last year. He had been on bail over a crash on the condition that he attend a rehabilitation facility. He had more recently been allowed to move back to his home in the northeastern suburbs.
As well as being under the homicide squad’s microscope, Maghnie had for years been a target of the Victoria Police Echo taskforce. As well as being a feared triggerman, Maghnie had been shot twice. On one occasion he suffered horrific injuries in an ambush as he sat in his car. Maghnie then drove himself to hospital for treatment and declined to later co-operate with police investigators.
Sources say Maghnie had been a heavy cocaine user but his bail conditions meant he had been steering clear of the drug. He had cocaine in his system when he crashed a Range Rover while driving through the suburb of Woodstock at over 200kmh.
In 2016 he faced court over allegations of a wild brawl at Crown casino in which men fought with bar stools. He had months earlier brawled with Mongols members at a South Melbourne brothel.