Police fear revenge may follow fatal Brisbane brawl, hospital attacks


A young man is dead, victims’ families have clashed with police at a busy Brisbane hospital and detectives believe the catalyst for the chain of violence on Sunday was an assault in Ipswich last week.

Two groups of people, who police described as « of African appearance », were involved in a « horrific and unacceptable melee » in a park on Brisbane’s northside at the weekend, senior police said.

The lead detective on the case believes the instigating group are « outliers » from Brisbane’s broader African population and as a result, there are doubts community elders can quell the violence and prevent further retribution attacks.

Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming said the 20-year-old man who died and the nine others who were injured were from the same group. They were set upon by a second group, with at least nine people who arrived in three cars and were brandishing knives and baseball bats.

Emergency services were called to O’Callaghan Park in Zillmere about 5.30pm on Sunday after reports of a fight between two large groups of people.

One man died at the scene of stab wounds. Nine other patients taken to various Brisbane hospitals – three with critical injuries, two seriously injured and four with minor injuries.

« The offenders appear to be people of African heritage and the victims appear to be of African heritage … most of the people involved in this are not co-operating with us, » he said.

« Those who are involved in this appear to be outliers of the African community and are not supported by the broader African community.

« I do hold concerns that the attack yesterday was retribution for an assault on September 8 in Redbank [last Tuesday] … involving African people inflicting significant injuries on an African man.

Police do not believe the Zillmere attack was between two gangs but that one group of friends who regularly gathered in the park were ambushed by another group.

Superintendent Fleming said the events at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital involved family and friends of the victims and some were « animated and aggressive » and « it took some effort to keep the peace ».

« I think we’ve got an uphill battle here …. [but] going off is not going to solve the problem and retribution is not going to solve the problem, » Superintendent Fleming said.

Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming said extra police officers had been posted at the hospitals, following further violence involving their families.

« We have a large number of police present at a number of hospitals now, » he said.

« None of that behaviour is helpful to those who have been injured and nor to others who are using the hospital. I am concerned that this behaviour may escalate. »

A pre-arranged meeting in Ipswich would take place on Monday between police and the local community, regarding the response to the September 8 assault.

Source: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/police-fear-revenge-may-follow-fatal-brisbane-brawl-hospital-attacks-20200914-p55ve1.html

Brisbane, Zillmere, Queensland Police Service, Stabbing

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