A MAN charged with the Lygon St double shooting went off on an unusual rant in a remand hearing.
Adam Kosian, 52, originally of Queensland, has been charged with murder over the Carlton shooting of Goran Vasic, 44, and Boris Kostov, 60, in Carlton.
He made claims of being poisoned, mentioned a history of mental illness and referred to his victims as animals and motioned his hands as if using a gun at an out of session remand hearing.
Mr Kosian has been remanded in custody and will appear at court on Monday.
A MAN today was charged with murder over last night’s Carlton shootings but police have ruled out a link with the killing of Macchour Chaouk in Brooklyn.
A 58-year-old man was charged with two counts of murder over the shootings, in Lygon St.
He was to appear in an out-of-sessions hearing at St Kilda Rd police station after almost 24 hours in police custody.
A 57-year-old man being questioned about Macchour Chaouk’s murder was released today without charge. He is believed to be the matriarch of the rival Lebanese Haddara family, who were on a war footing for months before yesterday’s execution.
The man had spent the night in police custody.
Deputy Commissioner Sir Ken Jones, who is overseeing both incidents for the Chief Commissioner, earlier today said detectives had positively ruled out any links between the two shooting incidents.
Sir Ken said suspects were in custody for both incidents and homicide squad detectives were making good progress.
He said police fear revenge killings following Chaouk’s death.
Sir Ken’s statement said police were taking “active steps in a number of Melbourne communities to guard against any risk of escalation, in this Victoria Police is being actively assisted by federal and state law enforcement agencies”.
He pleaded for calm.
The pokies venue, which has 75 gaming machines, reopened at noon today and the manager, Raff Tirabassi, refused to comment on the killings.
“It’s a police matter. I can’t comment on it,” he said.
The alleged killer placed spent shells on the chest of one victim after he collapsed.
He surrendered to police minutes after the carnage exploded at 4.45pm.
At least some of the deadly incident was captured on CCTV at Players on Lygon.
Det-Sgt Wayne Woltsche, of the homicide squad, last night described the killings on the famous cafe strip as “outrageous”.
Eyewitness “Jim” said he was playing on a machine when he saw “Boris”, a man he knew, executed.
Jim said Boris collapsed to the ground before the shooter, carrying a semi-automatic pistol, unleashed four shots into his chest while calling him an “f—ing dog”.
He then placed the four shells on the dead man’s chest, exclaiming, “they tried to poison me”, Jim said.
“I heard a bang and I didn’t realise what was happening. I saw a guy lying down, and me and a couple of guys tried to revive him, pick him up,” he said.
“I saw a bit of blood on his chin. The next thing I saw was a guy walking with a little pistol shooting at the guy who was lying on the ground. I tried to say, ‘oh mate, calm down, don’t do this’. He said, ‘they’re dogs, they’re dogs, they tried to poison me’.”
Jim said the gunman then ran across the street pursuing another man before returning to the venue.
“I walked outside and saw the other guy (the second victim) lying on the footpath with blood coming out of his head. He looked dead. He must have shot him first.”
The gunman wore no disguise. “He was quite happy doing what he was doing. I saw him behind the police van. He was smiling,” Jim said.
He said the man outside was an associate of Boris named Goran, aged in his 40s.
“The second victim was lying beside the table. He looked dead.”
Jim said Goran was of Serbian or Russian background and Boris was from the same region.
He said he had seen the gunman previously with the two men.
Another witness, who works on level one of the building, said his girlfriend saw the gunman chase down a victim, who bolted across the road and through Argyle Square Park.
“He ran across the park with the gun but the man got away. Within 10 minutes, the cops had their guns drawn,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Chaouk was shot at his Brooklyn home about 11am.
Homicide squad detectives were last night questioning a 57-year-old man who was arrested at an Altona North home eight hours after Chaouk died.
Police are investigating whether it was the latest in a series of tit-for-tat shootings linked to his family and another western suburbs crime clan.
Chaouk stood no chance as the gunman ran on to the property from a side street and blasted the convicted heroin trafficker. Those near the scene said there was a succession of shots in “rapid fire”.
There are fears of revenge attacks after the 65-year-old’s violent end, which unfolded with three children aged five or younger at the property.
Deputy Commissioner Sir Ken Jones said he was very concerned about the violence.
“We do have people in custody in relation to both shootings and our investigations are continuing,” he said.
Police Minister Bob Cameron was given a briefing.
“Police have assured the Government they are doing everything they can to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said.