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Man arrested after security boss stabbed to death in Sydney

Mohammed Bashir Zaheer (pictured) was allegedly stabbed to death on Thursday. He is pictured six months ago at a family wedding

A man has been arrested hours after a respected security boss was allegedly stabbed to death at a Sydney apartment block.

Mohammed Bashir Zaheer, 44, was found slumped in the lift of the Mirage building in Pyrmont around 8am on Thursday morning, suffering from multiple stab wounds.

He died at the scene, where he worked as a building manager at the complex.

Police were told he had allegedly been involved in an altercation with an employee who worked as a security guard at the building prior to being stabbed.

The security guard allegedly fled the scene following the incident.

Police launched a manhunt and following inquiries, a man, 41 was arrested on Macquarie Street in Parramatta in Sydney’s west just after 7pm on Thursday night.

He was taken to Westmead Hospital for observation, where he remained under police guard early Friday morning.

No charges have yet been laid and inquiries are continuing.

A crime scene was established at the building, which continues to be examined by specialist forensic police. 

Thursday night’s arrest comes after Mr Zaheer’s heartbroken friends and family wailed and collapsed to the ground outside the apartment block on Thursday afternoon after seeing the horrific scene.  

A respected member of the Afghan community, Mr Zaheer ran Four Star Security since 2001 after arriving in Australia via India with barely a penny to his name.

His ex-brother-in-law AJ said Mr Zaheer worked at Mirage for $10 cash-in-hand more than 15 years ago and worked his way up to management, and amassed a large property portfolio.

He owned six apartments in the building where he worked. 

Mr Zaheer’s father died in New York less than two months ago and he was unable to attend the funeral due to the coronavirus travel ban.

Outside the building, distressed mourners were comforted by loved ones as police and paramedics assisted.

A woman in a headscarf was distraught perched on a garden ledge could be heard weeping before collapsing on the footpath with Mr Zaheer’s sister Najia. 

The group were later helped into the nearby ambulance.

Mr Zaheer on a trip to the Blue Mountains about seven years ago as he was working his way up the security industry ladder

Mr Zaheer on a trip to the Blue Mountains about seven years ago as he was working his way up the security industry ladder

Family said Mr Zaheer was a pillar of the Afghan community who worked tirelessly as a penniless immigrant to build his 'empire'

Family said Mr Zaheer was a pillar of the Afghan community who worked tirelessly as a penniless immigrant to build his ’empire’

Later the group wailed and screamed Mr Zaheer’s name in anguish as his body was wheeled out of the hotel about 3.30pm.

AJ told reporters Mr Zaheer was a pillar of the Afghan community who worked tirelessly as a penniless immigrant to build his ’empire’.

‘Bashir started working here [at the Mirage] for $10 and hour cash, sleeping only four hours a night, working his way up,’ he said.

‘He started with nothing and did everything with hard work, now he owns more than 20 units all over Sydney.’

An emotional AJ said the family was planning to find Mr Zaheer a wife as he deserved to be happily married amid his success.

‘We are all so proud of him. Everyone loved him, no one had a bad word to say about him – I challenge anyone to say anything bad about him,’ he said.

‘You want perfect? He was the perfect man… He was the light of our family and our community.’ 

An woman in a headscarf was distraught perched on a garden ledge could be heard weeping before collapsing on the footpath

An woman in a headscarf was distraught perched on a garden ledge could be heard weeping before collapsing on the footpath

Another woman was seen being helped by loved ones as she rushed to the scene of the crime

Another woman was seen being helped by loved ones as she rushed to the scene of the crime

Pictured: A body is wheeled out of the apartment block on Thursday afternoon

Pictured: A body is wheeled out of the apartment block on Thursday afternoon

AJ said Mr Zaheer was a devout Muslim who prayed five times a day, and never drank alcohol, smoked, or ‘even looked and another man’s woman’.

‘His two sisters relied on him. What a guy… I just can’t believe he’s gone, he didn’t deserve this.’

Furious that anyone would hurt such a beloved and kind man, AJ said he didn’t know who was responsible, but if it was an employee they were a traitor.

‘He’ll get what’s coming to him, even dogs are loyal,’ he said. 

Mr Zaheer was dedicated to his community and was a committee member of the Neda-E-Afghan Cultural Council Association.

Grim scenes at the apartment block showed what appeared to be a body covered by a blue sheet as forensics workers combed the tower for evidence and took pictures of the crime scene. 

One resident said blankets and a stretcher were used to pull the man’s body out of the lift and into the lobby. 

Residents described Mr Zaheer as a kind and helpful man who happily chatted to small children.

James Wen, who owns a unit in the building, said the man lived in Mirage since at least 2008 after immigrating from Afghanistan.

Mr Zaheer's sister Najia (pictured in the red coat) collapsed to the ground along with another distraught woman with both unable to contain their grief

Mr Zaheer’s sister Najia (pictured in the red coat) collapsed to the ground along with another distraught woman with both unable to contain their grief

The pair had to be helped to their feet by family and friends and taken to a nearby ambulance

The pair had to be helped to their feet by family and friends and taken to a nearby ambulance

‘He’s a nice guy, he works very hard. He said hello to everyone who came in and out,’ he said.

‘He always tried to help people solve their problems because he feels like this building is his own.

‘He owns his own apartment and five or six others that he rents out.’

A friend who stopped by the scene said he was in shock that the man was suddenly dead.

‘I don’t know why someone would kill him… maybe he was trying to stop someone coming in to hurt someone else,’ he said.

‘He was the kind of person who would do that to help people there.’

Mirage resident Cameron Slaughter said he stumbled upon the horrific scene as he returned from the gym moments after the killing.

Police tape is seen around the apartment block in Pyrmont, Sydney, on Thursday

Police tape is seen around the apartment block in Pyrmont, Sydney, on Thursday

Police and paramedics were both called to a unit block (pictured) bout 8am on Thursday where a dead man's body was found in the foyer

Police and paramedics were both called to a unit block (pictured) bout 8am on Thursday where a dead man’s body was found in the foyer

Police tape outside the  unit block where a man was found with multiple stab wounds about 8am on Thursday

 Police tape outside the  unit block where a man was found with multiple stab wounds about 8am on Thursday

‘The lobby was covered in blood, there was a stretcher and as they were moving the stretcher out of the lift area I noticed they were putting blankets around the stretcher,’ he told reporters.

The alleged murder is believed to have taken place during the changeover from night shift at 6am to day shift at 8am, during which the victim manned the desk.

Acting Superintendent Sean Heaney told reporters on several people witnessed the argument that led to the alleged murder.

‘They’re distraught, as you can imagine. Very, very distraught.’Same as the police and other emergency services that turned up not long after,’ he said. 

Forensic officers scour the scene where a man was stabbed to death on Thursday in Pyrmont

Police cars are pictured at the scene of a stabbing in Bunn Street in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Pyrmont (stock image)

Police cars are pictured at the scene of a stabbing in Bunn Street in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Pyrmont (stock image)

Police officers cordoned off the building on Thursday morning and spoke to people leaving the apartment building

Police officers cordoned off the building on Thursday morning and spoke to people leaving the apartment building

Three ambulance crews were called to the scene and tried in vain to give the man CPR, a NSW Ambulance spokesman said.

‘Arriving at the job was quite intense – you are never really sure what you are turning up to, so it can be quite unnerving,’ NSW Ambulance duty operations manager Inspector Nadia Tomlinson said. 

‘This type of injury can cause significant damage and our paramedics were tremendous in providing treatment to the man, but despite their best efforts there was nothing more they could do.

NSW Police established a crime scene after a man's body was found with multiple stab wounds

NSW Police established a crime scene after a man’s body was found with multiple stab wounds

A crime scene has been established, which continues to be examined. A man was arrested in relation to the incident on Thursday night

A crime scene has been established, which continues to be examined. A man was arrested in relation to the incident on Thursday night

A police officer speaking with a man near the Mirage Building on Bunn Street where a man was alllegedly stabbed to death this morning

A police officer speaking with a man near the Mirage Building on Bunn Street where a man was alllegedly stabbed to death this morning 

‘The issue with treating these sorts of wounds is that you can’t always tell how much damage has actually been done internally.

‘When your job is to try and save a life, it is always tough for all emergency services when you get an outcome like this.’

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000.

Forensic officers search for evidence at the apartment block on Bunn Street. It is understood the man had suffered multiple stab wounds and could not be revived

Forensic officers search for evidence at the apartment block on Bunn Street. It is understood the man had suffered multiple stab wounds and could not be revived

NSW Police said the deceased man found at the scene has yet to be formally identified

NSW Police said the deceased man found at the scene has yet to be formally identified

Forensic officers begin to look for evidence following a man's death in Pyrmont on Thursday

Forensic officers begin to look for evidence following a man’s death in Pyrmont on Thursday

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