Police are excavating the depths of Melbourne’s underworld after the killing of one of its most notorious figures on a suburban road.
Nabil Maghnie, 44, was gunned down and killed outside a home in Lalor, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, at 8.30pm on Thursday. Two men who were with him — one believed to be his 27-year-old son Abbas Maghnie — were also shot but have survived their wounds.
Mr Maghnie, an associate of the Comanchero bikie gang, has long been linked to organised crime and violence, and had many enemies within Melbourne’s underworld.
It has been reported that one of his sons may have been involved in a road-rage incident in which Mr Maghnie sought to extort the other party that night.
There are now fears of possible revenge attacks. Mr Maghnie had survived two previous shootings, including one attempt on his life where he drove himself to hospital after being shot in the head.
No arrests have been made over Thursday’s shooting, but underworld sources have been quoted as saying it was “only a matter of time” until Mr Maghnie was killed.
His body was seen lying next to an $80,000 Mercedes ute in Dalton Road, Lalor Park.
His son returned to the scene in a hospital gown with a bandage on his arm and what appeared to be blood weeping from his leg. Other family members were in tears after arriving at the scene.
The ute was removed from the scene by a tow-truck on Friday morning.
Police were not giving much away about their investigation. “The exact circumstances surrounding the shooting are still to be determined but investigators believe the parties involved were known to each other,” a Victoria Police spokesman said on Friday.
A witness told 7 News that the gunman had casually walked away after the shooting. “He shot two blokes — one bloke was moving on the ground and one wasn’t,” said the witness, who was not identified.
“Then he come across the road … and he was firing at another two younger blokes. As the guns ran out of bullets, he’s just casually turned around, looked at us and kept walking.”
The investigation is the latest of many in which Mr Maghnie’s name has featured. He was questioned over last year’s murder of two people outside the Love Machine nightclub, a crime over which another of his sons, Jacob Elliott, has been charged.
Mr Maghnie, also known as Nabil Moughnieh, was also a suspect in the shooting of former Bandido Toby Mitchell in 2011.
Last July, after he was charged with getting his car airborne while driving at speeds of more than 200km/h while high on cocaine, a detective from the anti-bikie Echo Taskforce asked a court to deny him bail because of his reputation as a “hard man”.
“Not too many people can say they’ve survived being shot in the head twice,” Detective Senior Constable Ciaran Duryea told the court at the time. “His criminal reputation precedes him.”
Mr Maghnie was on bail at the time for drug and other driving offences, and facing charges for stealing a case of wine from a mailroom.
An associate was raided in 2017, with police allegedly finding Mr Maghnie’s DNA on the trigger of a rifle that was seized. Small amounts of drugs, a Lamborghini and $7000 in cash were later seized from his home.
About 18 months earlier, he brawled with members of the Mongols bikie gang at a South Melbourne brothel, and separately fought alongside Comanchero associates against security guards at a city bar.