Banksia Grove shooting sparks Perth bikie tensions

April 29, 2016 6:04pm
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Wanneroo man Mitch Finnerty, 23, died from gunshot wounds to his upper body after he was shot outside the Cassia Link, Banksia Grove property about 10.30pm Tuesday. Picture: Facebook

A Perth shooting that left a 23-year-old man dead and a bikie and his son injured began with a property dispute but has escalated gang tensions, police say.

Mitch Finnerty, who became a father only three weeks ago, was killed in the fracas that began at a house on Cassia Link, Banksia Grove then spilled out onto the street on Tuesday night.

Mitch Finnerty with his newborn son.

Pellegrino Paul Mule, a Coffin Cheaters bikie member, and his son Mark Mule, a friend of Finnerty’s, were shot and injured but have since been discharged from hospital.

Detective Inspector Mark Fyfe told reporters on Friday the property dispute didn’t involve gang members when it started, and was between a person already at the house and a person who arrived.

He declined to say what kind of property the stoush centred on.

The three victims were not part of that initial argument, but became embroiled in it and were shot after at least one Rebels bikie joined the confrontation.

“The original matter didn’t involve them,” Det Insp Fyfe told reporters.

“We’re still trying to establish how they came to be involved.”

Tensions had since risen between the Rebels and the Coffin Cheaters, he said.

“That’s something that I cannot elaborate on further at this time,” Det Insp Fyfe said.

“We know both gangs were there.

“The offender or offenders, I do not believe they are a threat to the community in general.”

He said police were yet to identify a suspect, but were speaking with the two surviving victims.

Det Insp Fyfe said at least eight shots were fired from two different types of guns, one of which was a semi-automatic, and one bullet went through a car in the street, so it was fortunate no innocent bystanders were hurt.

He said he believed an Audi that was found burnt-out in Sinagra was at the house at some stage, but could not say whether it was the getaway vehicle.

Det Insp Fyfe suggested no action would be taken against the deceased man’s father Lance Finnerty, who posted a threatening message on social media saying he would be looking for the killer.

“As you can imagine, any parent would be upset and any parent would have those feelings in the situation that he’s in.

“He’s entitled to have those feelings but we have spoken to him at length. We hope to have a resolution for him in a short space of time.”