Mon. Feb 26th, 2024
alert-–-gavin-preston:-breakthrough-in-the-brazen-cafe-shooting-of-melbourne-gangland-figure-as-alleged-‘key-player’,-22,-is-arrestedAlert – Gavin Preston: Breakthrough in the brazen cafe shooting of Melbourne gangland figure as alleged ‘key player’, 22, is arrested

Police have charged a ‘key figure’ in the execution of Melbourne gangland identity Gavin ‘Capable’ Preston with murder.

Preston, 50, was gunned down as he had breakfast at a cafe in Keilor, in Melbourne’s north-west, on Saturday, September 9. 

Heavily armed officers arrested the 22-year-old man in Bradbury, in Sydney’s southwest, at about 6am on Wednesday.

The man has been charged with murder and will be extradited to Victoria where he is expected to face court on even more charges. 

Police also simultaneously raided two properties in Campbelltown and Yagoona, both in Sydney’s southwest.

Police have arrested a 22-year-old man in Sydney in relation to the death of Melbourne gangland identity Gavin ‘Capable’ Preston (above)

The 22-year-old (above) was detained by heavily armed police officers in Sydney’s southwest on Wednesday morning and later charged with Preston’s murder

Detective Supt Janet Stevenson of Victoria Police crime command told reporters the youth, who was not previously known to police, was a prime player in the brazen murder. 

‘He clearly was key in that shooting,’ she said. 

While the detective said Preston’s murder was not linked to a spate of fire bombings linked to Melbourne’s illegal tobacco business, she could not outline a clear motive for his murder. 

Supt Stevenson described the investigation into Preston’s death as ‘challenging’. 

‘This is a significant arrest and a significant step forward, however this investigation remains live and is far from over,’ she said.

‘Since this shooting occurred a little over six weeks ago, there has been a significant effort from Victoria Police that has been led by the homicide squad.

‘We have worked closely with the members from Keilor and drawn on specialist units from across Crime Command. We have received tremendous support from the community during the course of this investigation.

‘Ultimately our inquiries led us to New South Wales, and there is no doubt that we would not be in the position we are in today without the substantial assistance provided by NSW Police over the last month.’ 

Supt Stevenson added the shooting was an act of ‘extreme violence’ which was carried out with no regard for the safety of the public. 

Preston (above) was considered one of Melbourne’s most unpredictable and dangerous crime figures before his death in September

Preston was shot at a cafe in the outskirts of Melbourne at about 10.20am on September 9 (pictured, the aftermath of the shooting, Preston is seen on the ground right)

‘The fear that this type of offending generates along with the high risk of innocent parties being killed, seriously injured or traumatised is unacceptable and deeply concerns us,’ she said.

‘We will continue to utilise all our resources to find those responsible at any level and hold them to account.

‘Today’s arrest also sends a message back from Victoria Police to those involved and I hope that message is clear, we will keep going until we find those responsible for bringing this violence to our community.’

The 22-year-old man was previously unknown to police and has been charged with murder.

Preston was considered one of Melbourne’s most unpredictable and dangerous figures before his death last month.

He was shot dead at Sweet Lulu’s Cafe at about 10.20am while enjoying breakfast in the outside area with Abbas Junior Maghnie.

He was previously connected to Maghnie’s father, Nabil Maghnie, who was killed in a shooting at Epping in January, 2020.

Maghnie managed to escape the September shooting with his life but is understood to still be in hospital after suffering severe upper body injuries.

The brutal attack was over just seconds after it started with forensics showing a number of shots missed the pair and landed in the wall of the cafe.

Preston was shot and killed in a hail of bullets while at Lulu’s Sweet Cafe in Keilor (pictured, officers at the scene)

Detective Supt Janet Stevenson of Victoria Police crime command described the shooting was an act of ‘extreme violence’ (pictured, bullet casings at the scene)

Officers also discovered valuable evidence left behind in an Audi that the shooters had tried, and failed, to incinerate. 

It’s understood Preston had been the target of underworld tensions following his release from prison earlier this year.

He’d been jailed for killing drug dealer Adam Khoury in a North Melbourne shooting in 2012.

While he was behind bars in 2016, Preston was viciously attacked by members of the Prisoners of War gang at Barwon Prison near Geelong in Victoria.

Footage shared by the gang in 2020 showed Preston being stabbed nine times by five inmates armed with shivs, spikes and blades, and left bloodied on the ground.

It was a drastic turn for Preston who was once a member of the gang and mates with its ‘general’, Matthew Johnson – who murdered gangster Carl Williams inside jail in 2010.

Since his release this year, Preston is understood to have been involved in a significant standover activity and assaulted at least one major gangland figure.

His shooting is just one of three Melbourne underworld deaths police are investigating from the past three months. 

Officer arrested the 22-year-old man (pictured in red shorts) while two raids were simultaneously executed in nearby suburbs

Preston (above) was released from jail earlier this year after killing drug dealer Adam Khoury in a North Melbourne shooting in 2012

Mohammed ‘Afghan Ali’ Keshtiar was shot before Preston in early August as he walked along Almeida Crescent, South Yarra, late on a Friday night.

Robert Issa, connected to the Comanchero bikie gang, was killed while sitting in his luxury Mercedes SUV in a busy Craigieburn carpark earlier this month.

The three deaths are not believed to be connected.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: The senseless crimes of Melbourne gangster Gavin ‘Capable’ Preston

Gavin Preston (left) was a feared prisoner who was known to shave the heads of other inmates in acts of intimidation 

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