Robert Ale (pictured) was shot at a Melbourne tattoo parlour last week
The Comanchero bikie gunned down at a Melbourne tattoo parlour has been revealed as high-profile member Robert Ale – the right-hand man of the gang’s jailed national president.
Ale, known as the ‘Cry Baby Comanchero’, is fighting for life in hospital after he was shot nine times during the attempted execution at Nitro Ink in Melbourne’s south-east last week.
Police believe the shooting may be linked to the murder of former Comanchero boss Mick Hawi, who was killed outside a Sydney gym on February 15.
Ale, 35, was shot at the same time Hawi’s family and friends gathered for his funeral at a Sydney mosque on Thursday.
Ale is a close associate of Mick Murray – current Comanchero boss and former owner of Nitro Ink – who was secretly jailed about a month ago.
Police believe the shooting may be linked to the murder of former Comanchero boss Mick Hawi (pictured with his wife)
Ale, 35, is fighting for life in hospital after he was shot nine times during the attempted execution at Nitro Ink
Police in Melbourne said Ale’s (pictured) shooting is being treated as a targeted hit
Police are probing whether rival gangs the Rebels or Bandidos are behind the assassination attempt.
But it is understood an internal dispute between Victoria and New South Wales Comanchero factions may be fuelling the violence, The Age reported.
The internal squabble was sparked after a wild brawl at a Canberra strip club in August last year.
CCTV footage showed bikies, who later refused to cooperate with police, smashing glasses on their own heads and ripping off their shirts.
Murray was seen standing in the background watching the violence unfold, making no attempts to stop it, according to the paper.
Meanwhile, anti-gang police in Melbourne have said Ale’s shooting is being treated as a targeted hit.
Ale (second from left) is a close associate of Mick Murray (right of Ale) – Comanchero national president and former owner of Nitro Ink
Ale (pictured centre) stands beside jailed Comanchero president Mick Murray (second from left) and other gang members
Ale was allegedly a major player in a crime syndicate which trafficked drugs and plotted arson attacks on a strip club, a court heard last year, Herald Sun reported.
During a bail hearing at the time, Con Heliotis, QC, said his client was not coping with his first stint in custody.
Mr Heliotis said when Ale was visited by another lawyer in jail, ‘he broke down and cried like a baby’, according to the paper.
‘If left in there, he’ll break down,’ Mr Heliotis said at the time.
Ale was charged with threatening to kill, drug trafficking, conspiring to commit arson and possession of an unregistered handgun. He was on bail when he was shot.
Inspector Michael Daly, who called Ale’s shooting ‘very concerning’, said police were investigating whether it was gang-related.
The gunmen’s bullets went through to neighbouring buildings, but no-one else was hurt.
Asked if the shooting was linked to Hawi’s murder, Inspector Daly said detectives for the anti-biker Echo taskforce were probing the possibility.
Murray (pictured) – the national president of the Comanchero and former owner of Nitro Ink – was secretly jailed about a month ago
Police at the scene of a burnt out car in Hampton Park, near the scene of a shooting at a tattoo parlour in Melbourne
Hawi rose to infamy in 2009 for his involvement in the Sydney Airport brawl which resulted in the death of Hells Angel associate Anthony Zervas.
The crime led to a nationwide crackdown on motorcycle gangs.
Hawi was jailed over Zervas’ death but was eventually freed on parole after his charge was downgraded to manslaughter.
Around three years after his release, Hawi was shot dead outside the Fitness First gym in Rockdale in Sydney’s south.
A week later, two masked men stormed into Nitro Ink and opened fire on Ale.
Family and friends of slain former bikie boss Mick Hawi gather at a Sydney mosque on Thursday
Hawi, a father-of-two, was killed in a hail of bullets outside a Sydney gym on February 15
Hawi (left) rose to infamy in 2009 for his involvement in the Sydney Airport brawl which resulted in the death of Hells Angel associate Anthony Zervas (right)
One witness said there were so many gunshots he couldn’t count them.
When questioned at the scene, one man who appeared to work at the parlour told a Herald Sun reporter to ‘f*** off’.
Daily Mail Australia’s calls to the parlour went unanswered on Thursday evening.
There is no suggestion the parlour is still linked to Murray or the Comancheros and police said they were not aware of any bikie link.
Hawi was shot dead outside the Fitness First gym in Rockdale in Sydney’s south. Mourners are pictured during his funeral service last week
Anti-gang police in Melbourne have said Ale’s shooting is being treated as a targeted hit. The scene is pictured