Park violence victims, ‘just going about their business’
IPSWICH police are in talks with members of the local African community following at least two shocking incidents of group violence in the past week.
It is understood senior members of Ipswich's African community are in shock at what has played out at Redbank Plains and at Zillmere since September 8.
Police are still investigating a possible link between the two incidents, although Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming on Wednesday said police had received information that Sunday's brutal attack on a group of people at O'Callaghan Park, Zillmere was in retribution for the earlier bashing of a man at Redbank Plains.
Supt Fleming said his understanding was that elders of African heritage were 'appalled' at the level of violence.
"When incidents like this happen it makes them feel singled out," he said.
When asked if police believed the fighting involved rival gangs, Supt Fleming stopped short of using the term.
"I agree the incident (at Zillmere) has all the hallmarks, but the focus of the investigation was not to determine if these people were part of a gang," he said.
"We will be alleging the accused have gone there will a common purpose to cause harm … to get anyone in that group they can get."
Girum Mekonnen, 19, died from stab wounds after Sunday's incident at Zillmere, with 11 others sustaining serious injuries ranging from stab wounds to traumatic injuries as a result of being struck with baseball bats.
Supt Fleming said there was nothing to suggest the victims were doing anything untoward in meeting at the park.
He said it appeared they were surprised by what police would allege was a targeted ambush.
"This kind of attack on people just going about their business is unacceptable," he said.
Police have arrested 10 people over the incident, after raiding homes in Ipswich and South Brisbane.
Police say all 10 are likely to face charges of murder, acts intending to cause grievous bodily harm, and affray.