Police are investigating a possible gangland connection to the overnight shooting of an officer in Melbourne’s north, as the house once occupied by the father of slain gangland figure Carl Williams was blasted with a shotgun.
Two Victoria Police first constables were shot at while attempting to intercept a suspect four-wheel drive in Moonee Ponds, in relation to reports of a shooting in Broadmeadows.
One officer, 31, was hit with shotgun pellets to the back of his head after he instinctively ducked moments before the shooter pulled the trigger of a 12-gauge shotgun aimed at his face.
The officer is in a serious but stable condition after the drive-by shooting in Melbourne’s north-west at about 3.40am Tuesday.
Police later found the Ford Escape they allege was involved in the shooting and are searching the burned out car.
Shortly before the police shooting at about 3.30am, shots were fired at a former home of Mr Williams’ father George Williams in Broadmeadows, a neighbour told AAP.
A house on Primrose Street in Essendon, where Mr Williams’ ex-wife Roberta Williams lives, was pelted with up to nine molotov cocktails on Sunday, Fairfax Media reported.
A police spokeswoman said officers were investigating the circumstances surrounding both incidents.
Headrest blown apart
Armed Crime Taskforce Detective Inspector Steve Clark said the shotgun blast wounded the officer leaving gun pellets in the back of his head and shattered a window of the police divisional van.
The Black Ford then allegedly sped off.
Police have not arrested anyone over the incident.
A burnt out vehicle has since been discovered in Coburg North, which police allege was driven by the gunman.
Det Insp Clark said the injured officer, treated at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, was “extremely lucky”.
“He’s been quite conscious and able to speak,” he said.
“It just shows how dangerous police work can be.
“Fortunately on this occasion it’s a good news rather than a bad news story.”
Lucky not to lose his life
Police Association secretary Ron Iddles told the ABC it was a “very tragic event”.
“Intercepting vehicles is probably one of the most dangerous duties that a police officer will carry out,” Mr Iddles said.
“Both members are extremely lucky not to have lost their lives this morning.”
Mr Iddles said the incident showed no police officer should be working alone.
“This is a situation where one member was able to assist the other member last night, so I think that in itself is a positive move forward,” he said.
“I’ve spoken to the passenger of the divisional van and I think the emotional scars will live far longer than any physical scar.”