The Parramatta Road building where the alleged shooting took place. Photo: Paul Gregoire

Posted by & filed under Inner West Independent.

A shooting incident at a unit above Parramatta Road on New Year’s Eve has ignited questions about gun violence in Sydney’s inner west.

A 56-year-old man appeared at Petersham Police Station at 10:30am December 31 with a gunshot wound to his foot and claimed he had been robbed at a unit on Hay St in Leichhardt.

Police arrested a 33-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman at the unit. A spokesperson for the NSW Police Force said a third suspect was apprehended later that day in western Sydney.

“At 7:45pm on NYE a 28-year-old man was arrested at Addington Street St Mary’s and charged with robbery while armed with [a] dangerous weapon,” the spokesperson said.

The licensee of the neighbouring Bald Faced Stag Hotel said reports that the shooting happened inside the hotel were false.

“It was initially reported that someone was shot in the hotel so that was all incorrect,” he said.

But the dramatic events have pulled focus from gun violence in Sydney’s outer suburbs to the inner west.

A spokesperson for the NSW Police Force said they would not comment in relation to gun violence within the Leichhardt LAC (local area command).

A spokesperson for Leichhardt Council noted their youth and community safety officer works closely with police and is a member of the Leichhardt Marrickville Domestic Violence Forum.

Samantha Lee from Gun Control Australia said inner city Sydney has the highest levels of armed robberies in the Sydney metropolitan area and there are also problems with other gun related crimes.

“Figures show that the Sydney Statistical subdivision of Inner Sydney has experienced the highest level of robberies with a firearm than any other statistical area of Sydney,” Ms Lee said.

“Inner Sydney has also had to contend with a considerable number of drive-by shootings and assaults with a firearm.”

Ms Lee said an anomaly with the 1996 National Firearms Agreement fails to ban semi-automatic handguns, which “makes absolutely no sense”.

“John Howard banned semi-automatic longarms,” she said. “Which Prime Minister is going to finish the job and ban semi-automatic handguns?”