Moments before shots rang out at a Sydney shopping centre yesterday, a man rushed into a shop inside screaming, "There's not enough f***ing time."
Standover man and convicted killer Walid "Wally" Ahmad was shot dead and two others were injured at the centre when an unknown person opened fire inside Bankstown Central, in Sydney's southwest, just before noon local time.
A woman working in a cosmetics store inside the centre told news.com.au that a man and a woman rushed into the shop moments before the shooting.
"Where's store security? Where's store security? Can you call them?" the woman said.
She banged her hand on the counter, saying "call them, call them!" But the man said: "There's not enough f***ing time." The pair then ran towards an escalator, which leads to the third-level gym, cafe and carpark, where the shooting occurred. It is not known who the people were or if they were hurt in the shooting.
Bankstown police commander Detective Superintendent David Eardley confirmed a 40-year-old man was dead and two others were injured in the shooting.
Police believe the gunman did not act alone and that a burned-out white Mercedes found in nearby Greenacre was connected to the crime.
While police have not confirmed the identity of the victim, Eardley said police would also be looking at the connection with another shooting at Condell Park earlier this month.
"It's clearly targeted; this is not a random shooting," Eardley said.
A 53-year-old male and 32- year-old female were treated at Liverpool Hospital. A hospital spokesman confirmed they were both in stable condition. A niece of Ahmad told news.com.au: "It's my uncle. He's the victim."
The woman was at a family gathering at a home nearby when she received a phone call that her uncle had been shot.
When asked who may have targeted Ahmad, the niece said: "I don't know."
The shopping centre's management ushered family members to a nearby coffee house, where more than a dozen police officers were gathered. An elderly woman, believed to be the mother of the victim, was seen slumped in a wheelchair, quivering, with her hands covering her face.
The family were agitated as they left the area, demanding that no pictures be taken.
It is understood two people were detained at the scene, although police told news.com.au that nobody had been formally arrested.
A Bankstown resident working at the shopping centre, who asked not to be named, told AAP that "police arrested the wrong people to start with".
He said a Mercedes was stopped and searched by police but police failed to find a weapon.
"It happened in front of us," he said. "They handcuffed the wrong person."
He said police found the right car, a black four-wheel drive, at the rooftop car park near the gym.
It is believed Ahmad was connected to a fatal shooting at smash repair business, A Team Smash Repair, where one man, Safwan Charbaji, was shot dead this month. Charbaji, 32, was shot in the chest. Another, Abdullah El Masri, 35, was left in a critical condition after being shot in the face. He remains in an induced coma.
The shooting happened on the afternoon of April 9 in Condell Park, a suburb of Bankstown.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Ahmad had been on the run since then.
Ahmad was convicted of the 2002 killing of Mayez Dany in Greenacre.