Homicide Squad detectives have released images and CCTV of a vehicle as part of their ongoing investigation into a fatal drive-by shooting outside a Ravenhall pool hall earlier this year.
Investigators have been told 33-year-old Ikenasio Tuivasa, known to friends and family as ‘Sio’, was standing outside the Westwood Drive pool hall with a group of associates when a Toyota Hilux SR5 ute approached and stopped on the roadway just before midnight on 27 February.
It’s believed a passenger in the vehicle called out towards the group, gaining their attention, before producing a firearm and firing a number of shots.
The shooting resulted in the death of Mr Tuivasa, and serious injury to a 24-year-old Endeavour Hills man who was standing nearby.
Following the incident, the ute sped away towards Ballarat Road, and was last seen travelling on the Western Highway towards Rockbank.
Investigators believe the vehicle was a dark grey 2017 Toyota Hilux SR5 dual-cab ute, with a chrome roll bar on the rear tray and stock wheels.
Both occupants were perceived to be Pacific Islander in appearance, and it’s believed the passenger spoke Tongan.
Despite conducting extensive enquiries, Homicide Squad detectives are still yet to establish a clear motive behind the incident.
Detectives are today releasing images and CCTV of the ute believed to be involved in the incident, in the hope someone may recognise it and provide information about its movements on the night and the identity of the two occupants.
Anyone who was present at the incident and who has not yet spoken to police is urged to come forward.
Motorists who were in the area at the time and may have dash cam footage are urged to preserve it and contact Crime Stoppers.
Anyone with information that could assist investigators with their enquiries is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or log onto www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.
Quotes attributable to Detective Inspector Tim Day:
“Homicide detectives have made extensive enquiries into Mr Tuivasa’s background, along with the other people who were present that night and found no discernible motive for the crime.
“We’ve identified a number of other altercations leading up to this incident involving members of the Pacific Islander community, in and around the same Westwood Drive venue and other similar venues in the northern suburbs and are working to establish if any these incidents are linked to the shooting.
“Investigators have also identified that the venue is frequented by members of the Hells Angels and Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCG), some of which were at the venue on the previous night. It is believed a separate altercation occurred outside the venue on that previous evening. Intelligence indicates that a firearm was produced during this incident. Investigators are trying to establish whether this incident is linked to the shooting in which Sio was killed.
“As we know – the type of characters running around in OMCGs are generally not rocket scientists and there are a number of examples over recent years of OMCG groups not doing their homework and killing an unintended innocent victim.”