The bikie boss assassinated in hail of bullets after a workout was murdered because of his arrogance, a top former detective has claimed.
Mahmoud ‘Mick’ Hawi, 37, was shot by a masked gunman as he got into his luxury Mercedes SUV at Fitness First in Rockdale, Sydney after midday on Thursday.
Retired NSW detective chief superintendent Brian Harding said Hawi’s refusal to change his routine – despite reports of a bounty being placed on his head – made him an easy target.
‘It would seem as if the murder yesterday of Hawi would be in part due to his own arrogance,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.
‘It would seem as if he had a routine, and a well-known routine at that, which the shooters knew so they just turned up and took him down according to that regular routine.’
Harding said he believes at least three people were involved in the murder of the former Comanchero president, which bears all the hallmarks of a paid hit.
He questioned whether all three would remain loyal if arrested and questioned over the matter.
‘I know from experience that circumstances change and one of the murder team might strike a hurdle and want to cut some sort of a deal to avoid a lengthy jail sentence and will inform on his co-offenders,’ he said.
Police probing the murder are investigating why the gangster wasn’t accompanied by his bodyguards when he was killed.
Gymgoers said Hawi usually had three men with him but there was no-one standing by his body after his death, perhaps suggesting an inside job.
Police are still none the wiser as to why Hawi was killed. Theories include that he was caught up in in-fighting after refusing to re-join the Comanchero gang or that he was targeted by a rival group.
‘It could be as easy as him saying something to the wrong person,’ a senior police source told the Sydney Morning Herald.
The paper also reported that the gym where Hawi was killed has been affected by gang-related violence before, with a mass fight between Comancheros and a rival gang erupting there in 2008.
Staff were allegedly even told by police not to sack a Comanchero fitness trainer in case of repercussions. The AFP declined to comment.
It comes after the mother of a Hells Angels associate who was killed by Hawi said the bikie boss finally ‘got what he deserved’ after he was shot dead on Thursday.
Fredericka Bromwich commended the ‘boys’ who executed Hawi outside a gym in Sydney’s south after her son, Anthony Zervas, was bludgeoned to death at Sydney Airport in 2009.
‘Mick Hawi got what he deserved, and good on those boys who did it,’ she told Seven News.
‘It’s karma, because what you do in life, comes back to haunt you.’
A masked gunman opened fire on the former Comancheros president, 37, at Fitness First in Rockdale about 12.10pm.
Hawi died hours after being taken to hospital in a critical condition where he was reportedly ‘brain dead’.
He was found guilty in 2011 of murdering 29-year-old Anthony Zervas inside Sydney Airport – bashing him with a bollard during a brawl between the rival clubs.
He served time in prison for his role in the killing, however, his murder conviction was quashed in 2014.
The melee was described in court as an ‘explosion of violence’ – featuring a flurry of punches and stabbings, ending in Zervas being knifed in the chest and bludgeoned to death with a 17kg steel bollard.
‘You’re a dead man, you’re f***ing dead,’ witnesses recalled underworld figure Hawi screaming at the rival group.
‘Next time we see you, you’re going to have bullet holes through you. You are a dead man walking’.
Shocked passengers watched as the deadly ‘all in brawl’ unfolded in front of them. The incident, which sparked international headlines, led to a nationwide crackdown on bikie activities.
Hawi was running a car detailing company when he was taken into custody. He had been president of the Comancheros since 2002 but was replaced after going into police custody.
Daily Mail Australia understands he was freed in early 2016. He has two sons aged in their primary school years.
Hawi had kept a low profile since his release – that was until he opened the door of his luxury Mercedes SUV Thursday and was critically injured by a hail of bullets.