x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Property developer shot dead

An Australian property developer is gunned down in front of his young son outside their Sydney home.

An Australian property developer, who once tried to sue the Sultan of Brunei, was gunned down in front of his young son outside their Sydney home, police said. Michael McGurk, 45, was shot once in the head by a lone gunman as he stepped from his luxury Mercedes in the harbourside suburb of Cremorne with his 10-year-old son last night, said Supt Geoff Beresford. Supt Beresford would not confirm claims Mr McGurk had feared a hitman was on his trail and had approached police to ask for protection, but said the developer appeared to be the victim of a callous and "very targeted" act.

"We are very open-minded at the moment but what I can confirm is the deceased is very well-known to the police," he said. "This gentleman did have a lot of associates that are also known to us, and those inquiries are well and truly underway." Mr Beresford said Mr McGurk's young son was "very close" to his father as he was shot, and though unhurt, had been "very traumatised" by what he saw. Mr McGurk's mother-in-law Noreen McDonald said her grandson had come running into the house screaming "Mummy, mummy, mummy, quickly, daddy".

"She raced out. He was bleeding all over the place and passed away," Mr McDonald said. Mr McGurk, who in 2007 unsuccessfully tried to sue the Sultan of Brunei over an alleged US$8 million agreement to buy a 400-year-old gold-lined miniature Quran, was alive when police arrived but died a short time later. * AFP