Notorious Sydney underworld figure Bilal Hamze has died after "being shot down in a hail of bullets" in the heart of Sydney's CBD last night.
The 34-year-old is the cousin of Brothers for Life founder and Goulburn Supermax inmate Bassam Hamzy, Sydney media reports.
Police were called to Bridge Street, near Circular Quay, just before 10.30pm Thursday, following reports a man had been shot.
Detectives said Hamze had been leaving a nearby establishment when he was killed. They declined to say if he was alone or with people.
Detective Superintendent Robert Critchlow, Criminal Groups Squad Commander, has called the incident a "brutal execution-style murder".
Hamze was treated at the scene for multiple gunshot wounds before being taken to St Vincent's Hospital where he died a short time later.
The shooter is believed to have fled in a black Audi, which was later found burnt out in Northwood on Sydney's lower north shore.
The execution-style shooting appears to be the result of an ongoing feud between Sydney's Hamze and Alameddine crime families.
Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, Homicide Squad Commander, said in a police presser on Friday that it shows underworld violence is escalating.
He said considering a gun was fired multiple times in Sydney's CBD, it is lucky no one else was killed or injured.
Detectives from the NSW Police State Crime Command's Homicide Squad have established Strike Force Englorie to investigate the death.
Shooting could be linked to police operation
Det. Supt. Doherty said it is possible that the fatal shooting is linked to a police operation between the Australian Federal Police and the FBI revealed earlier this month.
The operation targeted criminal organisations with a phone app that criminals across Australia and the world used to talk about murder plots, drugs and importation methods.
It led to more than 200 arrests within the country over three years.
"Once you disrupt organised for networks, there's always going to be some irritation. And this may have been be a result of that, I’m not saying if it is or not, but also you got a look at those things," Det. Supt. Doherty said.
Det Supt. Critchlow warned that there is now "a substantial risk of reprisals" and urged those who may be thinking of doing so, to please not react with further violence.
He also said police will be "kicking down doors and tipping people over" to solve the case, adding that one person unrelated to the case but connected to criminal organisations has been arrested.
Hamze's mum's home targeted twice
In March 2013, Bilal Hamze's mother Maha Hamze was shot in the legs through the door of her home in Auburn in western Sydney. She survived.
The shooting was sparked by a debt recovery fee feud between her son and another man.
Her home was shot up again in October last year.
On the same day, Bilal Hamze's cousin Mejid Hamzy was shot dead at his Condell Park home.
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