Investigation Continues into Wyndham Vale Deaths

Wednesday 10 May 2023 8:44am – 

Homicide Squad detectives are today releasing CCTV footage of three vehicles as part of their investigation into an incident in Wyndham Vale in February where two men were killed and one was seriously injured.

The footage shows the cars stopping on a nearby street in Wyndham Vale only minutes before the fatal incident took place.

Several people get out of the vehicles and appear to be involved in a discussion on the street, before the trio of cars drive off.

Detectives are keen to speak to anyone who recognises these vehicles or the people travelling in them.

Today’s appeal follows the incident on 11 February where two men were killed and one was seriously injured.

Emergency services were called to a property on Carmichael Drive following reports of a stabbing and the discharge of firearms.

It’s believed the group of three vehicles in convoy pulled up outside the address just after 2.45am, then a number of males got out of the cars and approached five males who were in the garage of the property.

After a short verbal altercation, a number of shots were discharged and the victims were further assaulted with edged weapons.

The group then left the area in the three vehicles.

Two men were located at the property with fatal wounds, while a third man was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The two men killed have since been identified as 29-year-old Atem Atem and 22-year-old Ayuel Akuei, both from Wyndham Vale.

A 23-year-old Wyndham Vale man was also transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The two other residents who were in the garage at the time were not physically injured, however a pet dog at the premises was fatally shot.

Two adults and four children who were elsewhere in the house at the time were also physically uninjured.

Detectives believe that this was a deliberate attack on this address and are continuing to treat it as gang-related.

However they now believe those killed and injured were likely not the planned targets of the attack.

A significant investigation has been underway since the incident occurred, involving specialist investigators from the Homicide Squad and Gang Crime Squad, as well as local police.

Police have spoken with a large number of people and also reviewed hundreds of hours of CCTV footage in an attempt to determine what the motive was for the incident and identify those responsible.

Detectives are hopeful that today’s release of CCTV will provide further avenues of enquiry and are keen to hear from anyone who may have information about the incident, including the identity of those involved and in the footage.

Investigators would also like to hear from anyone who has information regarding the motive for the fatal attack.

Anyone with further information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

Quotes attributable to Detective Acting Inspector Nigel L’Estrange:

“This was a deliberately violent attack that resulted in the loss of two lives, however it is likely only through sheer luck that more people weren’t killed or seriously injured.

“We believe that the group is likely to have attended the address as the result of some kind of dispute between street gangs, however those who were killed and injured were either not gang members or had only very loose links.

“We’ve had a significant investigation team working on this matter since it occurred, including specialists from both the Homicide Squad and Gang Crime Squad.

“We’re hopeful that by releasing this footage today, it will lead to further avenues of enquiry for us or might prompt someone who knows something to come forward.

“This was an act of violence that was completely unnecessary and any indiscriminate use of firearms in this way is always immensely concerning for police.

“We want to reassure the community that it remains a priority for Victoria Police and we are doing everything we can to locate those responsible and hold them to account.

“One of the best ways for the community to support this investigation is by coming forward and providing police with any information they have about those responsible and the circumstances leading up to the incident.

“This information can always be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers if people do not wish to speak directly to police.

“However any details, no matter how small or insignificant you believe they are, may be the key to solving this case and providing justice for these families.”