An armed gang of youths stormed a Melbourne home in an Australia Day suburban rampage, beating to death a 20-year-old man and injuring two others.
Police say the group of 10 men were armed with long weapons – possibly bats, poles or machetes – as they smashed a car, trashed the home and killed the man in a matter of minutes.
The armed men then slowly walked away from the Deer Park property, shouting racist abuse as they disappeared into nearby parkland, a neighbour recalled.
“They didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry at all,” said the 50-year-old neighbour, who didn’t want his name published.
Two others from the western suburbs home are recovering in hospital with leg and hand injuries.
Police say the attack is not random or racially motivated, though it’s believed everyone knew each other prior to the incident.
Homicide Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Tremain said there’s no record of previous problems at the address.
“It was almost a case of running into the property, inflicting as much damage and injury as possible, and then running out,” he said.
“We are very confident that we will get on top of this.”
A next-door neighbour said a half-dozen people were having an Australia Day BBQ on the front lawn of the property on Sunday before the group of armed youths arrived around 10pm (AEDT).
The group, aged in their late teens to early 20s, smashed the tail lights, side mirrors and windows on a yellow ute parked in the front driveway before pushing their way into the Billingham Road home.
A woman was heard screaming, “Call the cops” and, “Don’t leave me” as the 20-year-old man was beaten by the gang.
Neighbour Helen Thwaites heard the woman’s cries for hours after the young man had died.
“It was heart-wrenching to hear,” she said.
“How tragic. Why? What a waste.”
It’s believed the man, from nearby Diggers Rest, had been recently staying at the home. He was friends with the person who lived there with his girlfriend.
Neighbour Raziye Tahir said many residents are scared about what happened.
“It’s really shook us. We couldn’t sleep at all last night,” she said.
“I hope they catch whoever has done this.”