A reward of up to $1 million is being offered for information that helps solve the assassination of Rebels bikie president Nick Martin, who was shot during a drag racing event in Perth.
Martin received a single gunshot wound to his torso while watching the Outlaw Nitro Challenge at Perth Motorplex in Kwinana at 8.40pm on Saturday with his family.
WA Police Minister Michelle Roberts described the shooting as an “incredibly disturbing incident” and said there might be an opportunity for immunity from prosecution provided the person was not directly responsible for the homicide.
“We want no stone to be left unturned,” she told reporters on Tuesday.
“It’s an unprecedented reward for a crime of this nature.
“This is a crime that cannot go unpunished.”
Assistant Commissioner Brad Royce admitted a reward was being offered earlier than usual in a police investigation, but said it was critical in this case.
“We don’t want to take forever working painfully through every forensic opportunity if there’s someone sitting out there that may just be looking for an opportunity to come forward,” he said.
Martin’s wife Amanda was with him at the time of the shooting and told The West Australian she heard a sound, but could not be sure if it was a gunshot or a car backfiring.
She recalled feeling her husband’s hand graze her cheek as he collapsed to the ground before saying: “Babe, I’ve been shot.”
Nick Martin was killed in front of his wife Amanda. Source: SuppliedSource:Supplied
“I picked him up and I just held him up. I kept telling him just to stay with me,” Ms Martin said before explaining that she screamed for help.
“No one knew he’d been shot because … the noise, the cars … they didn’t know.”
She said bystanders thought Martin had suffered a heart attack, but her hands were covered in blood.
“I was kissing him and I was trying to give him CPR, but he never opened his eyes again – he was already gone,” she said.
Martin, 51, appears to have been shot by a sniper in front of horrified innocent bystanders, including young families.
A five-year-old boy was grazed by the bullet but did not need to go to hospital.
Former Bandidos bikie Ricky Chapman, 31, the partner of Martin’s stepdaughter Stacey Schoppe, was also wounded and had fragments of the bullet removed from his arm during surgery.
Ms Schoppe said suggestions Chapman was a Rebels member were false and he was no longer a bikie.
The hunt for the gunman continues, with authorities not ruling out the possibility the shooter flew into Perth to commit the crime.
Officers and recruits scoured the perimeter of the venue on Tuesday.
Police are now on the hunt for Martin’s killer. Picture: Theo FakosSource:News Limited
A Rebels meeting at their Bibra Lake clubhouse was intercepted by police officers overnight.
Officers set up a vehicle control point nearby, stopping members and associates for identification checks.
Separately, a 20-year-old Rebels nominee was allegedly found in possession of three guns, meth and police clothing in Gosnells.
The Kenwick man has been charged with six offences. He is not a suspect in Martin’s shooting.
On Monday, WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson told 6PR radio that Martin did not have “good standing” with the Rebels before his death and had been “under some pressure”.
Police suggested Martin had recently stood down from the leadership, but his family insist that is not true.
Nick Martin’s stepdaughter Stacey Schoppe tried to revive him. Source: SuppliedSource:Supplied
Following the shooting, police raids were conducted at the Mongols and Hells Angels clubhouses, and at a Shoalwater home linked to an alleged bikie associate.
A 33-year-old Mongols member was charged with possessing cocaine with intent to sell/supply, and a 30-year-old man was charged with breaching a post-sentence supervision order.
Weapons and prescription medications were allegedly found during a search of the Hells Angels clubhouse.
A 71-year-old Mongols associate has been charged with several offences after cannabis plants, a shotgun, four rifles, two firearm silencers and ammunition were allegedly found at the Shoalwater property.
There are fears Martin’s death may spark an all-out bikie war and Mr Royce says police are “taking the fight back to the gangs”.
More than 100 officers have been assigned so far to Operation Ravello.
Friends have described Martin as a generous person.Source:News Corp Australia
Meanwhile, tributes have flowed for Martin, with former Rebels national president Alex Vella sharing his outrage.
“To be taken so cowardly in front of his wife, children and grandchildren is absolutely abhorrent,” Mr Vella wrote.
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“Nick will always be remembered for being straight up forward not backward member of our great club.”
Martin’s daughter Tia, who recently gave birth to his first grandchild, posted a photo on Facebook with the caption: “I love you forever and always.”
A friend of Martin said the “world lost a good person”.
“I meet Nick in the early 2000s when we worked together … we became friends (and) I had the privilege of meeting his parents, daughter and sister. The public image is not the real man. He was a kind generous person,” he wrote.
Martin’s death comes just two weeks after he was bashed at a Scarborough bar, allegedly by Hells Angels boss Dayne Brajkovich.
CCTV showed the pair greeting each other with an amicable handshake before a violent clash broke out.
Martin was allegedly hit to the ground before getting to his feet.
NCA NewsWire is not suggesting Brajkovich played any part in Saturday night’s shooting.