News Hunt for highway hitmen after Melbourne father murdered in hail of bullets on Eastlink

Hunt for highway hitmen after Melbourne father murdered in hail of bullets on Eastlink

Police search for clues in Donvale after a man was found shot dead. Photo: AAP
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Police in Melbourne have gathered clues as they work to identify the hitmen who shot dead a man on the Eastlink freeway, as the victim’s identity and details of his background have come to light.

Paul Virgona was found dead in a bullet-riddled van on a road at Donvale about 2.20am on Saturday.

Two cars were later found abandoned at Mooroolbark and Bayswater. Homicide detectives believe the vehicles are linked to the killing and think multiple people were behind the “targeted” attack.

Mr Virgona, 46, is a father and community sport coach from Croydon. It’s understood he ran a wholesale fruit and vegetable business in Melbourne’s inner north.

An SUV found in Bayswater in Melbourne on November 9 is thought to be connected to an earlier shooting in Donvale. Photo: AAP

Mr Virgona was appointed as coach for the Croydon Football and Netball club’s under-19s Colts for the upcoming season.

Detective Acting Inspector Peter Trichias told reporters on Saturday:

“The shooting itself does not appear to be random, it appears to be a targeted attack.”

He said there was “no indication” the shooting was in retaliation for any other incident.

It’s believed the attackers dumped the ute in Bayswater before fleeing through a nearby park.

The firearm used has not been recovered and there have not been any details released about potential suspects.

Witnesses have been urged to come forward if they saw anything suspicious.

Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

-with AAP