ABC Radio Canberra
A 26-year-old man will face the ACT Magistrates Court tomorrow charged with the murder of Canberra Comanchero leader Pitasoni Ulavalu at Kokomo’s bar.
ACT Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan told ABC Radio Canberra that a man presented to Calvary Hospital last night with multiple gunshot wounds, accompanied by three other men.
Commissioner Gaughan said those three men were then taken into custody because they were wanted over the brawl at Kokomo’s in Canberra’s CBD.
Later this morning police confirmed that one of the three men would be charged with murder and the other two men, a 22-year-old and a 23-year-old, were expected to be charged with affray.
Canberra Comanchero commander Pitasoni Ulavalu, 48, died after being stabbed in the neck at the Civic nightspot in the early hours of July 19.
Police were called to Kokomo’s on the corner of Genge and Bunda streets at 12:05am after reports of a “disturbance”.
Officers confirmed at the time that the altercation began within Kokomo’s before Mr Ulavalu, 48, was found dead outside.
Mr Ulavalu had been stabbed in the neck.
Police flag further arrests and charges
ACT Policing’s criminal investigations boss Detective Superintendent Scott Moller said the three men who had been arrested had links to the Comanchero MC.
“Some are ACT residents, but some reside interstate,” Superintendent Moller said.
He said investigation into Mr Ulavalu’s murder was continuing.
“There are over 200 witnesses that we need to interview, hours of CCTV footage to be reviewed,” Superintendent Moller said.
“We’ve been looking at a group of men for some time and the opportunity at the hospital presented itself and he was arrested.
“I certainly expect there will be further arrests and more charges laid.”
Superintendent Moller said there were about 35 motorcycle club members currently known to police in the ACT.
“It was only about 12 months ago that I said we had up to 70, so we’ve been working really hard to reduce those numbers,” he said.
“If you’re involved in outlaw motorcycle groups you should be concerned, because people involved in outlaw motorcycle gangs are being shot, are being stabbed and end up in jail.”
“But as a general member of our community, Canberra is a very safe city and I wouldn’t be concerned.”
On ABC Radio Canberra this morning Commissioner Gaughan said police were “also investigating” the incident overnight that led to a man sustaining gunshot wounds.
“We don’t know much about the actual shooting but we had a male present himself to Calvary Hospital late last night with some gunshot wounds,” Commissioner Gaughan said.
“He was brought in by three male persons … wanted for the affray at Kokomo’s a couple of weeks ago.”