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1984: Seven killed in Sydney biker shootings

VIDEO : Gang battle at an Australian Fathers' Day party

A 14-year-old girl and six bikers have been killed in a gun battle between rival gangs in a suburb of Sydney, Australia.

More than 20 other people were wounded in the attack at Milperra and are now in hospital under armed guard.

The shooting began in the car park of Milperra's only pub, the Viking Tavern, where bikers had organised a party to celebrate Australia's Fathers' Day.

Bitter feud

It is not yet clear who initiated the fight, but it is believed to be connected to a bitter feud between the Comancheros and Bandidos gangs.

The gang members attacked each other with guns, knives and baseball bats. The young girl who was killed was selling raffle tickets outside the pub when the violence started.

The fighting stopped briefly to allow paramedics to attend to the dead and wounded. It took police another hour before they gained control of the situation.

The residents of Milperra were shocked that their usually peaceful suburb could be the scene of such bloodshed.

In Context
The court case following the "Milperra Massacre" was at the time one of the largest in Australian history. Forty-three people were charged with seven counts of murder.

The judge in the case named the instigator of the violence as William "Jock" Ross, the "supreme commander" of the Comancheros.

"Ross was primarily responsible for the decision that members of his club go to Milperra in force and armed," he said. Ross received a life sentence for his part in the violence.

Seven other members of the Comancheros gang received life sentences and 16 Bandidos served 14 years for manslaughter.


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