A key suspect in the gangland murder of crime figure Walid “Wally” Ahmad had also been investigated for three other shootings before he was gunned down outside his Sydney home.
Hamad Assaad, 29, was getting into the car at his Georges Hall home on Tuesday morning when he was ambushed.
Two men with hand guns opened fire, peppering Mr Assaad with bullets before fleeing in a waiting black car.
His mother emerged from the home they shared on Sturt Avenue to find her bloodied son lying in the driveway.
Well-known in Middle Eastern organised crime circles, Mr Assaad had been on the police radar most recently for the execution of Walid “Wally” Ahmad at Bankstown Central shopping centre.
He was the key suspect in Mr Ahmad’s shooting murder on April 29, however, it is understood police were looking into at least two other suspects.
That will form one line of inquiry as to whether Mr Assaad was killed in retribution for his rumoured hand in Mr Ahmad’s death.
Fairfax Media understands he has also been looked into for two further high-profile crimes.
Police received information Mr Assaad may have been involved in the ambush on Michael Ibrahim outside his CBD apartment in January, 2015.
Ibrahim, the younger brother of nightclub boss John Ibrahim, had recently been released on parole when he was shot in the shoulder outside the Macquarie Street building.
There was also information Mr Assaad was linked to the shooting of Pasquale Barbaro in Sydney’s inner-west later that year.
Barbaro, whose relatives have been killed in gangland hits, managed to escape the hit on his life as he ran through the streets in Leichardt in November, 2015.
However the information linking Mr Assaad’s involvement to both shootings was among “piles” detectives received and put him among several potential suspects.
It was understood to also be considerably weaker than the evidence that implicated him in Wally Ahmad’s murder this year.
Separately, he was charged with the murder of Mohamad Alahmad, 37, who was shot six times as he sat in his BMW in the driveway of his home in South Granville in 2007.
He was found not guilty in 2010.
Despite his past, police sources have said they don’t believe Mr Assaad was a contract killer.
In the case of Wally Ahmad’s shooting, he may have been acting on his allegiances to a rival crime family.
That family was involved in yet another shooting with members of the Ahmad family outside Wally’s Condell Park smash repairs in April this year.
Safwan Charbaji, 32, was killed and Abdullah El Masri was shot in the jaw but survived.
Given the latest shooting, which may or may not be in retaliation to Wally’s shooting, police are focused on keeping a lid on any retribution attacks.
Homicide detectives returned to the Assaad family home on Wednesday for a lengthy search, much to the frustration of his family members.
Tensions boiled over several times, with Mr Assaad’s brothers demanding police let them back in the home, yelling that they had already been there for 24 hours.
“Get out of the house man,” one man yelled.
“We’ve got animals to feed in there.”
The men then made their way over to a media pack across the street, screaming and hurling abuse at journalists.
One of the men knocked over the news cameras before Mr Assaad’s brother tried to charge towards a female journalist.
“I’m burying my brother,” he yelled.
“My brother is in a grave. He is dead.”