A GUNMAN remains on the loose after fatally shooting a man and fleeing the Maddingley scene in a silver SUV.
Police are hunting for the male driver of the SUV after he was seen pulling up beside a white van, firing a shot and then taking off at high speed down McCrae Street, Maddingley.
A 48-year-old-man who is reported to be a father of five was sitting in the driver’s seat of the van when he was fatally shot in the head. He died at the scene at 8.15am on Tuesday.
It is reported that Paul Hogan was parked in his driveway when the shot was fired. He is remembered as a quiet man who loved his children.
Uniformed police and plain-clothed detectives cordoned off McCrae, Franklin and Labilliere streets. Police attended the usually quiet street around 8.15am, after witnesses observing the fatal shooting.
Detective Senior Sergeant Stephen McIntyre said police had not yet formally identified the body and no name would be released at this stage. The scene, including the white van, was being forensically examined.
“We have got a deceased male in the driver’s seat of a white van which is parked in McCrae Street near the intersection of Labilliere Street,” Senior Sergeant McIntyre said.
“We understand that around that time witnesses have seen a silver SUV type vehicle pull up near that intersection.
“An offender has approached the driver's side of the vehicle and shot our deceased while he was sitting in the driver’s seat.”
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The driver of the SUV fled the scene at high speeds and was last seen in McCrae Street. Police patrolled the Western Highway just before 9am, but confirmed the man and getaway vehicle had not be located by midday.
The deceased man was not believed to be known to police.
Witnesses reported hearing a dispute between a man and a woman in the street at 7am. Senior Sergeant McIntyre said police had not ruled out if the slain man was involved in the dispute, or if it was linked to shooting.
At this stage police are pursuing the driver of the SUV as their major lead.
"We are appealing to the driver of the SUV to come forward and make himself known to police," Senior Sergeant McIntyre said.
Senior Sergeant McIntyre urged residents to remain clam, calling the fatality an “isolated incident” that would have a devastating impact on the close-knit community. "It's a disturbing thing for any shooting at this time of day in a residential setting," he said. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000.
A McCrae Street resident was in the shower when she heard a “pop” at 8.15am on Tuesday morning.
The resident later saw a white van with a blue bag next to it on the usually quiet street.As a police set up a crime scene, property owner Daniyelle Bartlett rushed to Labilliere Street around 10am.
Ms Bartlett said she owned a property leased to a male tenant she believed may have been the shooting victim.
She described him as a good tenant who was healthy, friendly and had lived in the property for two years. The concerned home-owner said police had not confirmed whether they were searching her property or the identity of the deceased, but told The Courier they appeared to be gathered around her grey town house.
The shooting happened near Bacchus Marsh Grammar at a time when children would have been on their way to school. Police confirmed the school went into lockdown for a short period as a precautionary measure given the serious situation.