An adrenaline junkie with military experience in Iraq has been arrested over the assassination of a notorious bikie leader who was shot dead by a sniper.
Former Rebels bikie boss Nick Martin, 51, was shot in the back at the Outlaw Nitro Challenge drag racing event at the Perth Motorplex, Kwinana Beach at 8.30pm on Saturday, December 12.
He died at the scene in front of horrified families and children including his own wife and step-daughter.
Police raided a home in Waikiki and bushland in Warnbro, in Perth’s southern suburbs, on Monday before taking the man into custody.
Nick Martin (pictured) was shot in the back at the Perth Motorplex on December 12 in front of horrified families who were trying to watch the nitro cars high-octane drag racing
Police pictured raiding a house in Warnbro over the sniper shooting of bikie Nick Martin
He is currently being questioned by police. It is unclear whether charges have yet been made.
Forensics teams and detectives swarmed the home in Shoalhaven Place, in Waikiki, on Monday, seizing several items including a motorbike and a boat parked out the front.
The arrested man who owns the property has been described as an ‘adrenaline junkie’ who was involved in the military in the Middle East, 7News reported.
Neighbours said the man and his girlfriend were ‘model neighbours’ who always looked out for the community.
Other investigators were seen scouring bushland surrounding the salt water flats in nearby Safety Bay Road, later loading evidence bags into vehicles.
Another two homes in the area were also raided by police on Monday as part of the investigation.
The arrest comes three months after Martin’s death and following a cash reward offer for information.
Forensics teams and detectives swarmed a home in Shoalhaven Place, in Waikiki, on Monday
Police seized a boat from the Shoalhaven Place property on Monday
A bike was also towed away from the property by police as part of the investigation
WA Police had not recently revealed any new leads since the public execution despite several arrests and raids immediately following the shooting.
Police posted a $1 million reward for information but remained tight-lipped as to whether they had yet identified any suspects in the gangland killing.
They had reportedly been investigating a spot on the racecourse where the sniper may have laid in wait for Martin.
A photograph taken on the opposite side of the racing lanes from where Martin was sitting with his family, on the edge of a grandstand, shows a clear line of sight to the target.
After being hit, Martin told his wife Amanda: ‘babe, I’ve been shot’, as she tried to give him CPR while he died in her arms.
Another man, convicted drug dealer Ricky Chapman, was injured in the shooting at the Kwinana raceway, south of Perth.
Police said the same bullet that killed Martin had passed through to hurt Chapman – and a bullet fragment was recovered from his arm.
The chaos at the racetrack on December 12 in Perth after Martin was executed is pictured
One of the possible shooter locations previously identified at the Perth Motorplex. A long shot would indicate a sniper, experts say
Queensland University of Technology associate professor of criminology Mark Lauchs, an expert on outlaw motorcycle gangs said if the shot was taken from a distance then it was likely by a professional sniper as bikies don’t typically have great marksmanship skills.
‘If it’s from a long way away, I would assume it’s not bikie related as that’s not how bikies do things,’ he previously told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It may be associated with things other than a bikie war.’
Professor Lauchs said a deliberate execution of this type would be more likely to do with organised crime than an inter-club bikie war or an internal club dispute.
WA Police had reportedly been trying to work out whether the sniper shot the bikie from an area close to bushland on the edge of the motor complex.
It is thought that surveillance cameras at the complex might yield some clues to the public killing that shocked the nation, with a toilet block 20 metres from where Martin was sitting thought to be the most valuable.
Media speculation has offered up many possible theories such as that a fly-in foreign professional might have been used for the hit, or that the killer may have used a spotter close to Nick Martin to keep him informed of his target’s movements.
Mr Lauchs told Daily Mail Australia that bikies were more direct, preferring brute force and open violence such as drive-by shootings and bashings to settle inter-club bikie war or internal club disputes.
He said a deliberate execution of this type would be more likely to do with organised crime.
Rebels bikie Nick Martin was riden in to Pinnaroo Cemetery in a coffin covered in pictures of $100 bills (pictured) at his extravagant bikie funeral on December 23
Pictured: Rebels bikies embrace at the funeral of Nick Martin in Perth on December 23
A $1 million reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of the shooter who killed Nick Martin, 51, (pictured with wife Amanda)
Big outlaw motorcycle clubs often had individuals within them involved with organised crime even when the club itself was not an organised criminal group, he said.
Hundreds of mourners gathered on December 23 to farewell the former Rebels president at his Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park funeral – the majority turning up in patched Rebels colours.
Martin’s coffin was covered in pictures of $100 bills and Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower played as bikies took turns to walk up and touch it as it was brought in under a marquee for the service.
The public execution sparked fears of an bikie war, and WA Police launched Taskforce Ravello to find the killer.
- Members of the Hells Angels and their associates are among 28 suspects charged with nearly 300 criminal charges
- Supreme Court judge says police did not have sufficient grounds to search a Hells Angels clubhouse
- Two members of a motorcycle club that supports the Hells Angels have been found liable for damages after assaulting and threatening a man.
- Crimes of the Big Motorcycle Gangs
- Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs believe they can operate outside the law – and we’re here to remind them they cannot,
Bikie compounds and properties were raided across Perth in December but no leads have been made public.
The public were shocked by the brazen execution which happened right in front of families. Pictured: the scene on the night of the shooting
A five-year-old child also suffered a minor injury in the shooting.
WA Police Assistant Commissioner Brad Royce said in December there had been a ‘fantastic response’ to a Crime Stoppers appeal for information about the murder with anonymity guaranteed.
Crowds meanwhile returned to the popular Perth Motorplex last month for the first time since the public shooting that shocked the nation.
More than 150 teams participated in the 2021 Nitro Slam including Nitro Funny Cars and Burning Dragsters, bringing high-octane excitement back to Kwinana Beach.
Security was tight with entrants randomly scanned with metal detectors.
Police and security guards patrolled the crowds but no violence was reported.
More than 200 bikies from the Rebels and other clubs attended Martin’s funeral