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Underworld twist in alleged shooting spree

Heavily-armed police officers, accompanied by the dog squad, arrested the men along a riverbank behind the Kempsey Big W. Picture: 9 News
Heavily-armed police officers, accompanied by the dog squad, arrested the men along a riverbank behind the Kempsey Big W. Picture: 9 News

A man found dead on the side of the road after an alleged random shooting spree has been identified as a convicted criminal with links to the underworld.

Sam Dieter Liszczak, 30, had reportedly been released from jail for shooting a police officer in the face during an arrest after he attacked the home of the father of slain gangland boss Carl Williams in 2015.

NSW Police on Friday night charged one of the men arrested over the alleged shooting spree with the murder of Liszczak, whose body was found along Fernbank Creed Rd, just outside Port Macquarie.

Sam Lisczak, 30, was found fatally shot on the NSW Mid North Coast during an hours-long shooting spree on Thursday.
Sam Lisczak, 30, was found dead on the NSW Mid North Coast during an hours-long shooting spree on Thursday.
Liszczak had been jailed after an attack on a house belonging to Underbelly gangster Carl Williams. (AAP Image/POOL/Fairfax, Jason South)
Liszczak had been jailed after an attack on a house belonging to Underbelly gangster Carl Williams. (AAP Image/POOL/Fairfax, Jason South)

Tyrone Russell, 32, has been charged with murder, while 26-year-old Cory James Glass faces firearm charges.

“Police will allege in court the men had travelled together from Victoria in the ute, before the older man fatally shot the 30-year-old after a falling out,” a NSW Police statement said.

Mr Russell was taken to Kempsey Hospital for assessment under police guard.

On his release from hospital, he was taken to Kempsey Police Station where he was charged with seven offences, including murder and six firearm related offences.

He was refused bail to appear in Kempsey Local Court on Saturday.

Mr Glass was charged with three counts of discharging a firearm intending to cause grievous bodily harm, and three counts of firing a firearm in or near public place.

He was refused bail and appeared at Kempsey Local Court on Friday.

Heavily-armed police officers, accompanied by the dog squad, arrested the men along a riverbank behind the Kempsey Big W. Picture: 9 News
Heavily-armed police officers, accompanied by the dog squad, arrested the men along a riverbank behind the Kempsey Big W. Picture: 9 News

They were arrested on Thursday afternoon following a large-scale police operation involving specialist units and the Polair helicopter after the reported shootings.

Emergency services were called to the M1 motorway at Coopernook shortly before 2am on Thursday, after reports of shots being fired at a LandCruiser from a Mercedes ute.

Officers were called two more times to the M1 at The Hatch and at Kundabung over the following four hours after reports two more vehicles were shot at.

The ute was found abandoned nearby hours later. Photo: 7 News
The ute was found abandoned nearby hours later. Photo: 7 News

A short time later, shots were allegedly fired in the direction of a police vehicle on the M1 near Fernbank Creek Rd, before the ute was later found abandoned at Wayne Richards Park.

Shortly after 3pm, police located and arrested two men behind a Big W store in Kempsey after specialist police armed with longarm rifles swooped in.

Residents around the Wayne Richards Park were asked to stay inside and schools were locked down in the wake of the alleged shootings. Photo: 7 News
Residents around the Wayne Richards Park were asked to stay inside and schools were locked down in the wake of the alleged shootings. Photo: 7 News

The body of Mr Liszczak was found about 5.40am on Thursday, having suffered a fatal gunshot wound.

Mr Liszczak was jailed in 2015 after shooting a Victoria Police officer in the face while trying to evade arrest over alleged firebomb and gun attacks on the homes of George and Roberta Williams, the respective father and wife of underworld kingpin Carl Williams, who was beaten to death in prison in 2010.

George Williams died of a heart attack in 2016.