Mystery third man in Coast bikie murder
A THIRD man seen walking injured along Tallebudgera Creek Rd after the murders of Comanchero bikie Shane Ross and his mate Cameron Martin may hold the key to the investigation.
A major investigation centre has been set up at Burleigh Heads under the name of Operation Romeo Masking as police attempt to unravel how a notorious bikie and his friend wound up dead two hours after sharing a beer together in a Pimpama tavern on Friday night.
Revelations revealed yesterday:
* Gun casings suspected to be 9mm were found near Ross's body at Martin Sheils Park, Burleigh Heads.
* Martin, 47, suffered an unidentified chest wound before the crash.
* Police are searching for a third injured person seen stumbling near the murder scenes.
* Martin and Ross were with two other men at the tavern.
* Martin and Ross left the pub in a dark-coloured car. However, Martin died when the white Mercedes Benz he was driving hit trees on Tallebudgera Creek Rd about 9pm on Friday.
Divers spent most of yesterday scouring Tallebudgera Creek in an effort to find a murder weapon or any evidence relating to the death. Sections of the park remained a crime scene.
Investigations suggest Ross, 36, was shot in the head after meeting a group of unknown people in the park. He died in the long grass and lay there for almost three days until found by friends.
How Martin ended up dead at the scene of the high-speed crash is still unclear. Police yesterday revealed he had "sustained a puncture wound to his chest, shortly before the crash".
The Bulletin understands police are investigating whether Martin was shot or stabbed at the park, before fleeing for his life; was shot after the car crash; or if the puncture wound was inflicted during the crash. Investigators hoped an autopsy completed late yesterday would shine a light on how he died.
Regional Crime Co-ordinator Detective Superintendent Kerry Johnson said the police priority was to find the third person seen near the scenes of the double murder.
"During the evening we had a couple of reports, this was on the Friday night, around that 9.30pm timeslot, where a male person was seen walking along Tallebudgera Creek Rd, in what appeared to be an injured state," Supt Johnson said.
"That person hasn't been located at this stage. What we are appealing for is any member of the public who might have been going along Tallebudgera Creek Rd, between 9.30-10pm on Friday night, who may have seen that person, that may have dashcam or CCTV out of their house, to approach police.
"Our priority is this injured person. One, because of the obvious, is it related to this. Do they need aid. What's going on with them and to help us out with inquiries. It could be totally unrelated as well. It would seem an amazing coincidence if it was."
Supt Johnson said the injuries on the third person were unclear.
"I'm not saying they'd been shot, they appeared to be injured, according to the couple of witnesses who've come forward. As to the extent of those injuries or what they were, I can't comment.
"(They are) a person of interest, obviously, as to whether they're another victim or suspect, or whether it's a totally unrelated matter, but happened to be in the vicinity, I can't comment.
"One lot of witnesses went back to the ambulance and police, who were at the scene trying to assist Mr Martin, and brought their attention to it (the third injured person)."
Supt Johnson said they are starting to piece together Ross and Martin's movement between 7pm and 9pm, but were still trying to work out what led up to their death.
"Earlier in the evening there was four people together (at the Pimpama Tavern), which included (Martin and Ross) … we know who those (other) persons are and to varying degrees, they are assisting us with our inquiries
"We know that they (Martin and Ross) left their location (Pimpama Tavern about 7pm) in a dark-colour motor vehicle. The vehicle that was involved in the fatal was a white Mercedes C200.
"There is about a two-hour period there that forms part of our inquiries. We are trying to work out what happened in that two-hour timeslot, but they've definitely changed vehicles and at some stage, one met their demise at that location on Tallebudgera Creek Rd and the other person in the motor vehicle.
"Part of our inquiries are to see who was there (at Martin Sheils Park), what the meeting was about … we know what came out of it, but why it ended up that way."
He said police weren't ruling out any possible scenario, including one where Ross and Martin shot each other.
"Our inquiries are open to anything (if Ross and Martin shot each other), at this stage I can't say that's the case, but of course, stranger things have happened."
Martin and Ross were long term mates and business partners at Monstr Clothing, a label Ross founded. The two memorials set up at the crime scenes both included Monstr branded shirts.
A week before friends made the grisly discovery of Ross's body, he walked from court after narrowly avoiding jail time for his role in a sophisticated fraud operation.
Supt Johnson said there was no evidence to suggest there was any bubbling tension among the Comancheros and other OMCGs following Ross's death.
"Ross is a member of the Comancheros. Certainly from my perspective as the RCC, I'm not seeing any increase in intel or activity or any sort of heightened level of concern, in regards to our OMCGs.
"I'm not seeing any increase tensions and generally we would have seen something now.
"It's important to look at this that it was a contained incident. I would suggest that these parties, in one way or another, were known to each other. I don't think there is any need for public concern.
"Any investigation has its challenges, certainly at this stage we haven't had too many concerns of people inhibiting us, but that goes day by day."
He said Ross and Martin were both known to local police.
"Ross was fairly well known, and while I'm not in a position to discuss why … he was known to police in relation to his lifestyle and his associates. He is a member of the Comancheros.
"Martin was known to us, but there is no indication that he himself was a member of any outlaw motorcycle gang."