20 years: The day Mackay turned into a bikie battlefield – Australia News


ON THIS day, 20 years ago, the Mackay community was left shaken when two bikie gangs exchanged gunfire right in the city heart.

No one was convicted over the shootings, and to this day leading Queensland detectives say it has been the most difficult and frustrating investigation they had ever conducted.

It all started on August 31, 1997.

Crowds were gathered at the junior rugby league grounds for a game and the harbour was busy with families enjoying a quiet Sunday.

But the silence right across the city was disturbed when tensions between two bikie groups – the Odin’s Warriors and the Outlaws – reached boiling point and the city went into lockdown.

Retired Detective Senior Sergeant Dennis Hansen, who was one of the senior investigators at the time, said the incident was a “dispute over the drug territory”.

Bikie Shootout 1997 Daily Mercury Archives

According to investigators at the time, a confrontation had been brewing for weeks and on that Sunday a gang of Odin’s Warriors rode past the Outlaws’ clubhouse, known as the ‘Round House’ in convoy, and stopped at a nearby hotel.

Soon after a truck was driven from the Round House, straight across Barnes Creek Rd and ploughed into the Odin’s Warriors members.

That’s when the gunfight started, Mr Hansen said.

Retired police officer Dennis Hansen said the investigations into shooting was frustrating.
Retired police officer Dennis Hansen said the investigations into shooting was frustrating. Jacob Miley

The investigations that followed highlighted the ferocity of the brawl. Bullet shells were scattered everywhere right along Barnes Creek Rd, in through businesses and nearby houses.

As many as 40 shots were fired from four different styles of weapons, including a .22 rifle, a shotgun, a semi-automatic weapon and…

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