A young Melbourne tradie was in the wrong place at the wrong time when shot in the head, as detectives continue to hunt his “evil” killer.
Adrian Pacione, 20, was visiting a home on Ella Court in Lalor on July 18 to support his friend after the death of a family member.
The third-year apprentice was in the rear room watching a movie on the couch about 10.35pm when a group of men tried to force their way inside.
A number of shots were fired at the home when the men couldn’t get inside and Mr Pacione was hit in the head by a bullet that travelled through the front window and a wall.
He suffered critical head injuries and was taken to hospital, but died two days later.
Three other men inside the home were uninjured.
The attackers, believed to be three males wearing face-coverings, left the scene in a dark-coloured car.
Head of the homicide squad Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said there was a strong possibility Mr Pacione was “completely unaware” of the situation unfolding in front of the house.
“Adrian had nothing to do with this,” he told reporters on Thursday.
“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time – there supporting a mate.”
Det Insp Stamper believes the shooting was a targeted attack, but Mr Pacione was not the intended victim.
“We still don’t have an absolutely clear picture on why this happened,” he said.
“We’ve got some good theories and that was around some occupants of the house were involved in crime, particularly around the drugs theme.”
All those inside the Lalor house at the time of the shooting have been assisting police, but haven’t been able to identify the attackers.
CCTV footage of the getaway car was released on Thursday showing it driving along Lalor’s Mount View Road shortly after the incident.
Det Insp Stamper believes the gunman’s associates may not have expected the shooting to take place.
“If there is a person in that group who is disgusted by what happened I’d ask them to come forward,” he said.
Police are desperate to bring the offenders to justice, with Mr Pacione’s devastated family still too grief-stricken to talk about his death publicly.
“We know that Adrian was a good kid,” Det Insp Stamper said.
“He worked hard. He was doing his best. He was a good apprentice in his third year – things were looking good for him.
“And now’s he’s dead because of an evil act.”