The list of suspects involved in shooting up a city tattoo parlour linked to gangland figure Toby Mitchell is expected to be lengthy and peppered with the names of a who’s who of Melbourne’s underworld.
Police say witnesses reported hearing gunshots at City of Ink on Clarendon Street, South Melbourne, shortly before 2am Saturday, with at least five bullets hitting the building. No one was injured and the premises were closed at the time.
Mitchell hung up when contacted by The Age about the attack.
The 43 year old, who has been shot seven times in two separate incidents in 2011 and 2013, has no shortage of enemies and many dangerous allies.
“It could have been anyone. It could have been about anything,” an underworld source said.
Others have tried to play down the attack. “It could be just some d---heads going home,” one said. “They weren’t trying to hit anyone, it was 2am.”
Mitchell has a history of feuding with powerful organised crime figures, many of whom can’t be named because they are currently facing legal proceedings.
One enemy includes a notoriously violent Lebanese gangster who is a suspect in Mitchell’s 2011 shooting outside Doherty’s Gym in Brunswick. Another is convicted drug trafficker and mafia boss Rocco Arico, whose underlings exchanged gunfire with Mitchell after being ripped off in a cocaine deal in 2010.
The City of Ink tattoo parlour has been a big income earner since it was opened in 2014 by the former Bandidos bikie. Co-owners include close mates Jake King, a former Richmond Tigers star, and Michael “Mick” Hamill.
Mitchell was released from prison in November last year after being convicted of a crime that cannot be reported for legal reasons. He had already served a 20-month sentence for drug and weapon offences after being arrested with nearly half a kilogram of methamphetamine and cocaine in 2015.
Police have urged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.